By James Rose
Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

Jasmine Edmonds is graduating from Open Doors Alternate School this year. Already living independently with her dog Tigger, Edmonds, a Coast Salish First Nation member, has kept busy balancing her schoolwork while completing her training as an ITA Red Seal Carpenter.

“School went by fast this year,” Edmonds said. With Open Doors students all considered one cohort, pandemic restrictions weren’t as pronounced as they were at David Thompson. Since the start of the school year, she’s worked as an apprentice carpenter under Justin Foster at Everbuilt Developments. Before choosing carpentry, Edmonds considered welding but signed up for the latter due to a better job market. She’s learned framing, decking, foundations and many other skills pertaining to carpentry. She enjoys the team she works with.

“But it can be stressful too,” she said when asked about juggling the workload of her apprenticeship and school. The silver lining: Edmonds has, through the course of the year, learned crucial skills in not just her current career choice but other tangible skills like time management.

Edmonds’ hobbies include taking Tigger, her seven-year-old pitbull-border collie walking, boating on Columbia Lake with friends and family, and swimming. She listens to mostly hip-hop and dance music, Lil Durk and 21 Savage, two of her favourite artists.

“I’ve known Jasmin for four years,” said Monica Fisher, Edmonds’ Open Doors educator. “I’ve seen how she can balance being a teenager while having adult responsibilities. I can’t begin to say how proud I am. She’ll do great things for her community!”

After graduation, Edmonds plans to continue her apprenticeship and return to Open Doors for more job-related certifications. She also wants to travel. Her top two destinations right now are the United Kingdom (she likes the accents) and Australia.