Education Changed Life for a Young Mother and Her Family

Supportive Sask Polytech instructor key to student success


“I went to school for a better life for my children,” recalls Aubray Gadd. As a mother with one young child, a second on the way and limited education, she was working at what she describes as a dead-end job. “The year my oldest child started pre-kindergarten; I started Adult 12 basic education.”

With her Adult 12 diploma in hand, Gadd returned to the workforce but was looking for something more.

“I was working long, long hours. I would start work before my kids were up in the morning and I wouldn’t get home until after they’d gone to bed,” she recalls.

Gadd’s post-secondary education experience wasn’t easy. She started in the Accounting certificate program but decided the program wasn’t right for her and the timing wasn’t right for her family. After some more time in the workforce, Gadd was motivated to continue her education and was accepted into the Sask Polytech Business diploma program, choosing an insurance specialty. She credits her instructor, Erin McMahon, for supporting her through the process.

“She pushed me and believed in me when no one else did,” says Gadd, fondly. “When I came back and walked into her office she knew that I was there at the right time and the right place. She pushed me when I needed it. She never gave up on me.”

The mutual respect and admiration go both ways between the two women.

“She was parenting her little ones but rarely missed a class,” says McMahon, who instructed the second-year insurance specialty courses when Gadd was a student and has since gone on to become an academic chair in the School of Business. “She has achieved a lot in her life and I’m so proud of her.”

Through the final stage of her two-year diploma program, Gadd did an internship with SGI, leading to her professional career and full-time employment with SGI. She has since moved up to the position of major loss adjuster and credits her success to her instructor and Sask Polytech training. Gadd was able to transfer the classroom knowledge she received directly to her new position.

Through it all, Gadd was determined to make a better life for her family.

“I have overcome many obstacles to get here,” says Gadd who convocated from Business in 2018 when expecting her fourth child. “A better life for my children has been my motivation.”

She recalls a time when her oldest child was unable to participate in a community parade because she was working long hours.

“Now I don’t work weekends and I’m done at 5 p.m. If my kids want to be in a parade they can,” she says. “Now I have quality family time, a quality life and career I’m proud of.

November 2022



Saskatchewan Polytechnic serves students through applied learning opportunities on Treaty 4 and Treaty 6 Territories and the homeland of the Métis.