Newton Lew works nights as a bartender, so early-morning phone calls tend to throw him off.
Recently, he got a 9 a.m. call from Humber College. The person on the other end of the phone asked him to confirm a few details, like his age and the program he was enrolled in. It slowly sunk in that they were verifying his entry into a contest for $5,000 towards his Humber tuition.
“I thought maybe I entered it wrong. You know when you pass someone on the street and they ask you to enter a contest? That’s how I entered this one. I was half asleep, so I just told them I wasn’t interested and wanted to opt-out.”
But the college was persistent. Lew soon received a follow-up email from Joy Borman, Humber’s manager of New Student Recruitment.
She filled him in on the prize.
After accepting his enrollment offer into the Bachelor of Nursing degree program, he checked a box that signed him up for the annual contest, open to domestic students entering Humber for the first time.
“I responded to her email and said, ‘let me change my mind,’” said Lew.
Humber’s Bachelor of Nursing program is one of the first standalone nursing degrees at an Ontario college. On March 4, 2021, the College of Nurses of Ontario officially designated Humber College to offer standalone programs. Humber previously ran the Nursing degree program in collaboration with the University of New Brunswick for more than 20 years.
Lew already completed a four-year undergraduate degree at another institution and Humber’s transfer options played into his choice to attend the college. Most of his electives carried over, leaving more time for him to focus on core courses in his new degree program.
“I also noticed on the website that there’s a cadaver lab at Humber. I’m someone who learns from real life experiences, so that will really help me with securing my knowledge and experience foundation,” said Lew.
Humber has the only publicly funded college cadaver lab in Ontario.
The choice to study at Humber was easy, but Lew has a few other important decisions to make before he enters the workforce. He’s not sure if he wants to specialize in pediatrics or emergency room care and is fully expecting to add a few more options to the list.
“I was part of my previous school’s medical response team, and my experience with them was the reason I knew I had to pursue nursing as a career,” said Lew.
“I want to give a shout-out to all the work that student medical teams do for the community.”
For Lew, the work is just beginning and, thanks to $5,000 from Humber, he’ll be able to take fewer nightshifts and focus on school – and, hopefully, wake up ready to take on his future.