It would have been easy for Kelly Fosbery to remain in her former position. But when a maternity leave generated an opportunity to join the UBC Aboriginal Programs & Services (APS) team, it was one she could not pass up.
As the Westbank First Nation (WFN) Assistant to Council, Fosbery enjoyed a short commute and was able to serve her community through a rewarding career. She recalls what thoughts went through her mind when she clicked on the UBC posting.
“I looked at it as an opportunity to learn and grow in another area and bring the experience back to my community. It interested me because I love this campus and believe in education,” said Fosbery who graduated with an English Major and a strong focus on Indigenous Studies. “I believe it’s a good investment in my future.”
APS Acting Manager Jeannine Kuemmerle had no shortage of applicants to forward to the hiring committee.
“Throughout the hiring process, it became evident that Kelly has a keen interest in education and supporting students. From her interview it was clear she is passionate about being involved in her community,” said Kuemmerle. “And being a UBC alumni, she understands the barriers many Aboriginal post secondary students face during their transition into university life.”
As a student, Fosbery graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree from the UBC Okanagan campus in 2010. She started her post secondary experience at Okanagan College before transferring to the UBC Vancouver campus.
“Going to UBC Vancouver was such a positive experience for me. Taking First Nation and Indigenous Studies, both here and in Vancouver, taught me so much about our history. Things that were not taught to us in high school. It’s interesting to get the different perspectives and to live in someone else’s territory.
“In the end, I had to decide where I wanted to graduate. I thought I would finish off stronger being closer to my support system, community and my family,” she added.
While working for the WFN Chief and Council, Fosbery was encouraged to continue her lifelong learning journey. She completed two communications certificates and took courses in Aboriginal Leadership, Management Development and Strategic Planning at the Banff Centre.
“I’m looking forward to creating a healthy and fun university experience for Aboriginal students who need the resources to stay connected with one another, their homes, our campus and their culture,” said Fosbery, an APS Aboriginal Program Administrator.
The Okanagan resident makes the most of lifestyle in the Valley through hiking, snowboarding, photography and running.