ASE Students Brighten World at Conference

An Enlightening and Inspiring Three Days in Nelson


Selkirk College Transitional Training students from across the region put together an inspirational three-day conference earlier this month that showcased the talents of differently-abled adults.

Called Branching Out, the conference featured 19 different presenters and 18 workshops between May 12 and 14 at Nelson’s Tenth Street Campus. More than 120 participants took part in the conference that was geared towards practitioners, instructors and families of adults with diverse skills.

Branching Out Conference

Selkirk College Transitional Training student Natasha Bidinoff-Gardiner opened the Branching Out Conference at Nelson’s Tenth Street Campus with an inspiring and touching speech that had the audience on their feet.

The conference was opened by Nelson-based student Natasha Bidinoff-Gardiner who set the tone for the three days with her touching words.

“We didn’t ask to be born with a disability or to be physically injured or physically abused, but it happened,” Bidinoff-Gardiner told the audience gathered at Mary Hall. “We are judged and mocked. But instead of focusing on picking on each other’s weaknesses, why not learn to work together, accept each other and collaborate to make life beautiful.”

Read the entire story, including Bidinoff-Gardiner's speech at


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