A Gaiters’ story : Sarah-Kim Bergeron

Looking back at your life, would you have ever imagined the road you would have had to take to get to where you are today? My life has been entirely different than what I would have planned a few years ago, surprisingly for the better.

My name is Sarah-Kim Bergeron, and I am a second year, Master of Education student at Bishop’s University. I was born and raised in Quebec City; I grew up and went to high school in Alberta, and then I spent the last five years of my life in British Columbia, playing soccer and pursuing a Bachelor of Business and Administration at Trinity Western University (TWU) before coming to Bishop’s. 

Let’s just say that for a small-town girl from Quebec, being recruited to play for one of the top women’s soccer team in Canada and studying in an English liberal arts school felt like a huge accomplishment. Like many first-year students, I was full of ambition and drive to make my university career one where my hard work could be recognized, not only for my marks but primarily for my performances on the soccer field. It was difficult for me to think about what I could do beyond the soccer field because, at that moment, being a soccer player was the most significant part of who I was. I wholeheartedly believed that most of my value and my sense of self-worth were derived from my identity as a soccer player. The last thing I would have ever expected was that I would be forced to watch three years of my life fly by, without being able to play the sport that I love because of three serious knee injuries.

A new beginning at Bishop’s

Looking back, that was not the outcome that I wanted. But as an eternal optimist I can now see that, if it weren’t for the two extra years of eligibility that I gained as a result of my injuries at TWU, I would never have had the chance to finish my soccer career at BU. I would not have been able to start a master’s degree in education nor would I have been able to serve my new community these past two years. All of the challenges that I’ve faced in my life have shaped the servant leader that I am today. And much of my aspiration to serve the community comes from my value system. My heart’s desires and purpose in life align with my beliefs in God, which has allowed me to serve people as an overflow of the joy and love that I have found. When I came to BU, I was fortunate to join an incredible soccer team filled with outstanding, talented girls that taught me what it truly meant to be a BU student-athlete. All that Bishop’s University ever expects from you is for you to be you!

Giving back to the community

As I strived to follow my teammates advice, it was as if my love for them and my inclination to help the community intensified. I have had the privilege to go on several mission’s trips with TWU and with a nonprofit organization called Athletes in Action (AIA), which have taken me to South Africa, Swaziland, Guatemala, Paraguay, and Ethiopia. Each one of those opportunities taught me incredible lessons about why I love to serve. It opened my eyes to see serving not just as an opportunity but as a way of life. For me, serving started out as a responsibility, but slowly became a part of who I am. I now view it as a chance to share the joy and love that I have found through my faith and as a means to give back to the communities that have so graciously welcomed me, both abroad and in the places, I can now call home.

A pat on the back

I got to experience another silver lining a few weeks ago when I was given the RSEQ Leadership and Community award and USports Student-Athlete Community Service award in my last season as a soccer player. I am both humbled and thankful for these awards and I see it as the perfect end of my soccer career as well as the start for what lies ahead for me. It was a very surreal moment to stand before a crowd of people that I have played for and against for the last seven years of my life, and to share how grateful I am for the career that I’ve had. These trophies represents many years of personal growth, while trying to figure out who I wanted to be. It represents my heartaches and journey through my faith. And most importantly, both awards reminded me that it is not simply the recognition of an individual, but of a corporate effort to bring a community together through various projects. Bishop’s University provided the platform to make things happen, and the community joined in to participate. These awards are for Bishop’s University, and for all the people that we’ve met and had the pleasure to serve. And for this, I thank you!


Learn more about #GaiterNation on the Gaiters’ website: http://www.gaiters.ca/index.aspx 
Discover our Masters of Education program: http://www.ubishops.ca/academic-programs/school-of-education/graduate-courses-programs/



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