Alternative pathways to success – so many possibilities

“I feel like Reboot Plus should be integrated into high school. This should be a high school course. I now have options in front of me.”

Reboot Plus connects students to the world of work and possibility by having students meet professionals in fields of their interest; the impact on our students has been game changing.


So many possibilities Sticky notes on paper. A lot of options.

“When I started the Reboot Plus program, I was a big ball of possibilities. I didn’t know how to figure out which path to follow. My favourite part of the program was just exploring my passions. Most of my friends haven’t had a chance to do this. Instead, they just chose something out of high school. Reboot Plus helped me take a step back and just explore instead of rushing into a career path I wasn’t sure of.”

Exploring options 

“During the program, I spent time looking at the various programs offered through post-secondary institutions. Photos of happy, smiling kids were posted everywhere. Where were the graduates who would share their experiences with me? What was the program really like? It would be nice to connect with those who might not have had a linear journey to post-secondary.”

Alternative pathways

“I feel like the pathway that I was taught in school was: go to university or trade school.  Avenues available to high school dropouts didn’t cross my radar. High schools don’t elaborate on alternative pathways to a successful career: certificates or building portfolios. Instead, we select the classes we need to get into college and aim for the grades needed to get there. Then we apply for college or university. Then what? A lot of my friends are figuring out the ‘what’ while they’re doing the ‘what.’”


“After spending some time exploring, I knew I liked interacting with people. Communications was a field I was interested in learning more about, as was a technical creative career. Caroline Johnston, my program leader and program Career Liaison, connected me with Andrea Williamson who manages the social media for the Reboot Plus program. During the informational interview, I mentioned that I was interested in the School of Interactive Arts and Technology (SIAT) at Simon Fraser University(SFU). She mentioned that she used to work for this program and that she could connect me with a past student who is working in the field of User Experience (UX).”

Narrowing down 

“My next interview was with Theo Wong. When Caroline messaged me and said, “I don’t know if you’ve heard of a company called Unity, a video game engine,” my heart jumped out of me. I did a video game class and I design video games, so I think I know what Unity is! I couldn’t believe Andrea connected me with Theo.

Drawing on a pad of paper. UX design.When I met Theo for the interview, I wanted to know all about SIAT: how did he get in the program? How did he figure out his degree? What kind of educational background did I need to get into SIAT? What did my grades need to be to get into the program? But after a couple of questions, the conversation evolved into a discussion about UX (User Experience) and Unity and I just had a wonderful time talking with him. Our conversation hit every point of interest. Theo explained what his position was and how he had moved around the company to work with different teams; this really sparked my interest because I like working with people and being creative. It was cool to learn that he’s living in Copenhagen. I would love to travel the world.”


“Theo also shared his experience of working in a Communications role with the Government of Canada. He Writing an article on a laptopexplained that, in this role, he received a lot of information, but found he didn’t have the chance to be as creative; everything had to be factual, educational, and informative. I’m sure there are jobs in communications that allow for more expression, but I know now that I want pursue UX. There’s always going to be a need for UX designers. If the game industry doesn’t work out, another industry will require UX. You can do UX for a company interface, collaborate with others to develop or improve a product. UX requires innovation, creativity, and collaboration: a dream come true.”


“I have more interviews to participate in. The fun thing about this program is I can hop into other student interviews. I want to jump into an interview with a florist just to know what it’s like to work in that field. It sounds so cool. It’s kind of hard imagining owning your own flower company is an occupation. Imagine how cute that is. Caroline is trying to connect me to a journalist from CBC; we’re just waiting to hear back. I’m also curious about a career in law working towards social justice. It’s fun to explore.”

Future planning

“I’m feeling better. I can’t wait to upgrade my math and finish my Dogwood. I have options in front of me. I don’t necessarily have to take the SIAT program. The pathways to a successful career are many. There are other programs at Emily Carr and BCIT. Many people working in UX don’t have formalized schooling; rather, they build their own portfolios and connect with others. School is expensive and the information is online; it’s incredible what you can find out there.”

Expanding opportunities for others

A young woman filming an interview. “Today, I connected with one of my classmates who is still struggling to figure out what they want to do in the future. I shared my experience of taking this program with them. I really wish we had the opportunity to speak with professionals like this in high school. A couple of friends of mine started university this year. They’re so unsure and they’re so stressed because they realize what they signed up for wasn’t what they thought they were signing up for. Maybe this hardship could be skipped by connecting with professionals and hearing their personal experiences. It’s very easy to go online and investigate different programs and courses, but it doesn’t give you the full picture.

This program worked for me. I’m grateful that I had the opportunity to take a step back and just explore. I was able to learn a lot about myself and I am excited about my future.”


The student who provided these insights into Reboot Plus is currently working towards completing her Education and Career Action plan, and will complete Reboot Plus in June 2023.

The Reboot Plus project is funded by the Government of Canada’s Future Skills Centre.

Le projet Reboot Plus est financé par le Centre des Compétences futures du gouvernement du Canada.