Hire Education - Haya Attieh | St. Clair College
Thursday, May 9, 2024
Haya Attieh
The Fitness & Health Promotion program has helped fuel Haya Attieh's passion for changing people's lives and has provided her with the opportunity to make a positive impact on the vulnerable population.

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Hire Education is a series that showcases stories of student success through experiential learning.

Haya Attieh

Haya Attieh didn't just want a diploma and a job. She dreamed about changing lives.

After graduating from St. Clair College's Fitness and Health Promotion program, she's making it happen.

The two-year program offers multiple experiential learning opportunities, including one that led directly to a full-time job before the end of her final semester.

Attieh was invited to extend her work placement at Karis Disability Services into a career as a Direct Support Professional and Personal Trainer.

"It was very good," said Attieh, 30, a single mom from Syria. "It pushed me to my dream. I didn't want to be a personal trainer for a gym. I wanted it to be specific for people who it will really have an effect on. Here I feel I am very useful when I teach someone who is not able to do a movement, then he can do it. It makes me so happy."

The Fitness and Health Promotion program prepares students for careers in a long list of sectors such as the retail fitness industry; corporate, public, and private fitness programs; consulting; community institutions for special populations; and municipal recreation departments.

More than 300 hours of work placements are included in the program, ensuring students connect with industry partners and gain valuable experience before graduating or sending out a single resume.

Attieh's first placement was at a local gym, which helped her realize she was interested in helping more vulnerable populations.

She followed that up with a placement in the Victorian Order of Nurses (VON) Home Help Program.

Her final placement was at the non-profit Karis Disability Services, where she now works full-time providing group fitness classes, nutrition and health classes, and personal trainer services.

"I finished my studies and I didn't stop coming," said Attieh. "I help all people with disabilities. We help them with daily activities. I teach them to do exercises every day. When I grow up, I want someone to take care of me, same as I am taking care of these people."

She has a job, but that doesn't mean she is done with school.

St. Clair has partnerships with several universities, including some in Europe, giving students the opportunity to extend their studies to earn degrees such as a Bachelor of Science Degree and a Bachelor of Movement Science Degree (BHK).

While continuing to work, Attieh plans to continue her studies online with Toronto's Metropolitan University to earn a Bachelor of Arts in Disability Studies.

"I will keep working and studying," she said. "When you work really hard, you will have great results."