May 28, 2009 15:03 ET

BCIT Prize Helps Quesnel Resident Pursue Business and Art Endeavors

Social media contest leads artist and community volunteer to web-learning opportunities

BURNABY, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(Marketwire - May 28, 2009) - When Cyndi Cassidy typed the words "3 BLOG Nights" into her web browser, she had no idea she was embarking on a cyber-journey to higher education courtesy of the British Columbia Institute of Technology (BCIT).

In March, BCIT hosted the social media extravaganza "3 BLOG Nights". Cassidy, who saw messages about the event on Twitter, investigated and soon discovered BCIT was giving away a number of tuition-related prizes including five separate $1,000 amounts toward post-secondary education.

When the dust settled, Cassidy had won one of those tuition prizes. "Winning this $1,000 tuition credit is so perfect for me," Cassidy says. "I can continue to learn more about web design. I'm working on a number of websites right now and I'm realizing that I have so much more to learn."

For this self-described "student for life" BCIT looks like a good match and she plans to pursue a distance education certificate in Web Technologies. This program provides advanced on-line courses in web technology enhancing the design skills of students, particularly in the areas of usability, accessibility and collaborative design.

Cassidy's plan is to work towards being self-employed in occupations such as web design and fiber art. While she's already taught herself how to use web tools like HTML and considers herself a budding web designer, she is looking forward to taking some advanced courses on-line.

"A home-based online business is my goal," she says.

The 52 year-old uses a wheelchair for mobility, but being disabled has not slowed her down. She volunteers at the Quesnel Art Gallery and has sat on a number of boards related to the arts and regional health initiatives.

The fact that Cyndi can access her program of choice from home is an added bonus. "I look forward to taking a course in web design and taking another step towards being self-sufficient in my business. Thank you to BCIT and 3 BLOG Nights for this wonderful opportunity."

3 BLOG Nights was a revolutionary 67-hour marathon of live blogging, YouTube video shoots, on-line discussions, and virtual tours that connected BCIT with current students and those exploring post-secondary education across British Columbia.

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