Down syndrome isn't stopping a Winnipeg woman from pursuing a post-secondary education, and Red River College is making it possible for her and other students with intellectual disabilities to earn diplomas and enter the workforce.
Caitlin Boland, 25, is one of 20 students enrolled in the college's Transforming Futures pilot program. Classes begin later this month.
"I'm glad to go to school again," she told the CBC's Marcy Markusa.
The first program of its kind in Manitoba, Transforming Futures includes courses that will help students explore career options and learn essential employability skills.
The program will also prepare students if they choose to pursue one of the college's academic program tracks. Currently students in Transforming Futures can enrol in the culinary arts or administrative assistant programs.
Boland says she hasn't been in a classroom since high school, and she hopes to land a clerical job at a company or law firm.
Her mother, Judy Boland, said she's excited to see Caitlin getting an opportunity to pursue the career of her choice.
"Right now she's doing volunteer work, which is great, but she deserves an opportunity to do what she wants," the elder Boland said.
"I'm very proud of her, that she's come this far and she got accepted. She's worked very hard for years and years."