Meet a Heritage Hero: Kaitlin Payne

Meet Kaitlin, one of our Heritage Heroes. Kaitlin is a recent graduate of the Construction/Industrial Electrical program from the College of the North Atlantic University (CONA) in Baie Verte, Newfoundland. A role model student, she graduated with a 97% average, was named valedictorian and received the Merit Award for her class. She is currently working on her Electrical Apprenticeship with a company in Fort McMurray, Alberta.

Kaitlin answered some of our Heritage Heroes questions…


The accomplishment I am most proud of in my academic career so far would probably be just finishing my trade. I graduated with a 97% average, Valedictorian for the whole college, and received the merit award for my class, but the thing that makes me most proud is overcoming my anxiety and sticking out the program, as many days I felt so overwhelmed that I thought I would have to drop out.


“This may sound cliche, but my most influential mentors would be my parents. They helped me through every problem I encountered and made sure I did not face it alone. When we realized that I was struggling with anxiety, they took me to see a doctor and made sure I got the help I needed. They encouraged me to be strong all while comforting me on my hardest days. They are most definitely to thank for my success.”


“Having an RESP has definitely helped me better afford my education. I never had to stress about being able to afford books, tuition, or even gas money to drive to school. In addition to that, it helped me save money of my own for when I finished school and had to start looking for work. I graduated with $0 in student debt. I did not owe any money when I finished. I definitely have my RESP to thank for that because as everyone knows, school can be quite costly,especially for students coming straight from high school without previous employment.”

“I would highly recommend to any parents to open an RESP for their child, and to start as early as possible. Thanks to the decision my parents made to open one for me, I was able to attend college, worry free of how I was going to pay for it, and graduate with a trade and go on to become a successful person. Post secondary education is very important and very valuable in today’s world. An RESP would be giving a child a guaranteed chance at becoming something they are very passionate about, without the financial stress.”

Thanks to Kaitlin for her participation and for being one of our Heritage Heroes. We look forward to seeing where her future endeavours take her!

To see more Heritage Heroes stories, click here.