Learn Jaida's Story

For Saskatchewan Polytechnic Psychiatric Nursing student Jaida Havervold and her two-year-old daughter, Paislee, education is a family affair. Most evenings you’ll find the two of them at the kitchen table, Jaida poring over her homework and Paislee colouring beside her, a tranquil scene occasionally interrupted when the toddler tries to taste a Crayola. 

After having Paislee at 16, Jaida was determined to graduate high school on time. And she did — with distinction. That same work ethic earned her the Registered Psychiatric Nursing Association of Saskatchewan Award, a $1,500 scholarship that’s helping the single mom pay for diapers, food and clothing while she balances full-time studies and parenting.

“I am so grateful. So many people have student loans to deal with while working, raising a family, going to school and trying to get their career started. It’s a lot.”

With a gift for sensing when others are suffering, Jaida considered becoming an addictions counsellor or a therapist. Her dad suggested psychiatric nursing, and Jaida chose Sask Polytech because she knew our grads get hired. (She’s right: 92% of our students find employment within six months of graduating and 96% of employers would hire a Sask Poly grad again!)

Jaida also knew that Sask Polytech’s hands-on, real-life learning would prepare her for the important work she wants to do, like tackling the shortage of support for addictions and mental illness and empowering Indigenous youth to escape the cycle of intergenerational trauma.

For Jaida, it’s personal. After battling her own anxiety and postpartum depression, she wants to break the stigma for others. “I want everyone to have the same chance at healing I had. I want them to know it’s OK to talk about it. It’s OK to get help. It’s OK not to be OK.”

 “I really want to make a difference. I want Paislee to be proud of me. Hopefully when she sees me succeeding, she’ll be motivated to succeed as well. I want her to think of me as a strong woman who’s able to fight through the battles, rather than let them take over.”

To Jaida and her hardworking classmates, Sask Polytech is more than just a school. It’s a family they can be proud to be part of — now and in the future. Less than a year into her program, Jaida already has big plans for giving back. “I can see myself returning to Sask Poly and teaching people like me.”

It’s a goal we know she’ll reach, Paislee by her side (or maybe even in her class)!

 Paislee doesn’t talk much yet, but Jaida knows what she’d say:

 “THANK YOU FOR HELPING MY MOMMY!”