A long-time musician, Krista MacKinnon is determined to make Cape Breton her permanent home. She moved to Alberta for Grade 12 but when she drove back across the Canso Causeway it hit her: she never wanted to leave the Island again.
“The people are great here, the music, the scenery; the whole feel in Cape Breton is just incredible.”
Krista recently graduated from NSCC’s Business Administration program at the Strait Area Campus. But she hasn’t stopped there.
The opportunity to count her two years of study at NSCC towards a university degree has propelled her forward. Krista works full-time at the campus while continuing her studies at Mount Saint Vincent University by distance, working towards a business degree.
This arrangement allows Krista to fulfil her dream – building a life in rural Nova Scotia without sacrificing family time or cutting community ties. Krista is an active volunteer.
She helps market other businesses and serves on several boards, such as the one for Cape Breton community TV station Telile.
Telile business manager Cora LeBlanc says Krista inspires other entertainers who want to stay in the area because she understands their struggles.
“This is her hometown and she certainly wants to make a life here. She’s doing what she can to stay in her community because it is a great place to stay and live and raise children.”
Path to success
Krista’s journey has had its challenges, but she’s worked hard to overcome them.
Never a star student, she wondered whether she could keep up with her new coursework. Add to that a young stepdaughter at home and music gigs four nights a week.
But the NSCC instructors were “amazing”, recalls Krista. She remembers emailing one at 11 p.m. with an accounting question and getting a call back immediately.
“My path has completely changed for the better since I’ve come to the College and over the past two years, I’ve really experienced that life-changing feeling.”