Indigenous Excellence

Jerry Sereda

January 2012

Jerry Sereda photo

  • Home Community:
    Ethelbert, Manitoba
  • Manitoba Cultural Identity: Metis
  • Position:
    High School
    Technology Teacher
  • Education/Training: Bachelor of Science
    (Zoology/Computer Science)

    Bachelor of Education
  • Roles/Responsibilty:
    Teach High School Computer Science,
    Web Design,
    3D/2D Animation,
    Digital Photography
“Many will tell you that things can’t be done, but never give up hope, and never settle for anything less than your dreams.”

What obstacles did you face and how did you overcome them?
One obstacle I faced was having others doubt my abilities. Many were willing to judge me based on my family and on my culture without giving me a chance. In the beginning I became the person they thought I was by giving in to the pressure. One incident in particular saw me facing my first “F” grade of my high school career. As poor as I had done in previous academic years the thought of failure was more than I could take. I sought the advice of my teacher to see if there was anything I could do to pass the course. She told me “…you would have to get 90% or better … but we both know that won’t happen.” This single statement both delighted and enraged me. I now wanted more than ever to prove them wrong, and pass the course.

I went home and studied for 16 hours (which is about 15 hours longer than I had ever studied before) and got a 98% on the exam, and passed the course. This single event proved to me that I could accomplish anything I set my mind to if I was motivated, and determined. This all occurred just before summer break. I then had an entire summer to reflect on my accomplishment, and the potential to succeed academically. I came back for grades 11/12 with a desire to succeed, which ended in me completing grade 12 as the Valedictorian and the recipient of the Governor Generals Medal with a scholarship to University.

What or who inspired you to really go after the profession you are in now?
My longing to inspire, give hope, and help others achieve success became the driving force behind my decision to become an educator. This same desire inspired me to follow my own dreams of becoming a musician. Music is one of the things in life that can make people feel a multitude of emotions, and in some cases help them understand, and deal with life issues.

What critical choices or decisions did you make that helped you get where you are today?
I decided that I would help others realize their potential, and to follow their dreams because without dreams, there would be no potential to live up to.

Message of Encouragement:
Dare to dream. Many will tell you that things can’t be done, but never give up hope, and never settle for anything less than your dreams. Some dreams take a while to become a reality, but it’s the journey that makes the result worthwhile, and shapes the individuals that we become.