She knows it’s corny to say, but for recent Dalhousie graduate Nicole Adams the motto “everything happens for a reason” rings true.

“I’m also a believer that you take certain paths in lives and when you’re on the wrong path, there are all these indicators,” the 34-year-old Halifax woman said Thursday of why she’s finally pursuing her dream of becoming either a medical doctor or an oncology researcher.

“When you’re on the right path, everything works,” she said during a break at the Killam Library. “I’ve had huge opportunities since I’ve been here.”


That includes her success in Dal’s transition year program, which includes one year of university courses, without credit, and helps First Nations and African-Canadian adults make the move to regular post-secondary study.

Adams, of mixed race, is valedictorian for the 2009 class, picking up eight of ten awards at a small graduation ceremony April 24. Not only is her name in this spring’s convocation program, but she also has a full entrance scholarship for her bachelor of science.

But Adams has already been chipping away at first-year courses while enrolled in the transition year, with the goal of getting into Dalhousie Medical School. That’s not her only tough task, as she’s also juggling two part-time jobs, mothering two children and dealing with the end of a 14-year relationship.

“I decided that I just wasn’t happy with a lot of things in my life, and it was time to do the stuff that me happy,” she said. “I have waited to be here for so long.”