Student Stories: Meet Selena Smith

Selena Smith – 3rd year, Haida and Kwakwa̱ka̱ʼwakw Nations

Home: West Vancouver

What advice would you offer to a first year NITEP student? As scary as it might be, take the time to introduce yourself to your cohort and explore the Indigenous spaces offered. Transitioning to a new school, program, or place can be hard. However, it is so much easier when you know you have a safe place and a great support system of like-minded people! It took me most of first time to finally put myself out there, but now that I have made some amazing friends, I regret not doing it sooner!


Share a highlight of NITEP: The thing I miss the most is hanging out with NITEP friends at the collegia! After one of our classes in first year most of us had a break until our next class, so we would go to the collegia to eat, catch up, or study. Anything really, we just enjoyed each other’s company!


List any awards you have received: Beedie Luminaries Scholarship

– and the 2019-2020 Academic Award through the program as well for maintaining a GPA of 4.0 or higher.


List any clubs/organizations you are involved with: n/a


What or who inspires you? My family members are a huge inspiration to me. It would feel unfair to choose only one since they have all supported and encouraged me in many ways. However, I will say that I have been very lucky to have such close and positive relationships with my immediate family and have learned something great from each one. I believe that small parts of them make up who I am today and who I am working to become. Whether it is their passions, determination, morality, or another positive aspect, they always inspire me to keep going and express my genuine self.


What are some of your proudest achievements? One that I am extremely grateful for is receiving the Beedie Luminaries Scholarship. It is not just a scholarship, it is a community, a family that I am proud to be a part of. It took hard work, many hours of studying, and trying new things but in the end, it all paid off. A non-academic achievement would definitely be my music! I have been creating music my entire life


Share your personal interests:

  • What is your favorite movie? Jim Henson’s Labyrinth
  • What is your favorite exam trick? Listening to positive affirmations. It puts me in a great mood and I feel much more confident!
  • What is your favorite study snack? Cucumbers and hummus
  • What is your favorite book? One of Us is Lying by Karen M. McManus


If you could invite anyone, living or dead, real or fictional, to dinner, who would it be? 

The teacher I had in grade 11 who was the main reason I decided to go into teaching. I only had them for a short period of time, but I think that speaks measures about who they are. I really resonated with the way they taught and appreciated how they treated each and every student. Their passion was evident, and they went out of their way to help and get to know each student. For these reasons, and many more, I wanted to emulate what they had done for me. I had many teachers over the years who influenced my final decision, but I never got to properly thank this teacher or tell them. I wrote each teacher who inspired me a “thank you” card and gave it to them once I graduated high school, but since this teacher got a job at another school, I did not get the chance to express my gratitude. Sometimes I feel teachers do not get enough recognition, or specific feedback about what worked well, so I would love the opportunity to meet this teacher again and share their impact on me.


Where do you see yourself in the future? Ideally, teaching in school district that I grew up in alongside the teachers who inspired me. Hopefully still creating music and not letting go of what makes me happy! Wherever I end up, all I wish is to be surrounded by the people I love while doing what I love.


Any additional information you’d like to share: If you would like to listen to the music I have created thus far, you can listen to “Selena Adams” on all streaming platforms! ( link: )