Positively impacting the lives of children and youth

MRU alumna shares how finding the right program made all the difference


Shannon Kearney poses for a photo.

Shannon Kearney credits Mount Royal’s small class sizes, supportive community and opportunities to participate in research for reigniting the excitement in her education.



Interested in our Bachelor of Child Studies — Child and Youth Care Counselling


Shannon Kearney, a 2020 graduate of Mount Royal’s Bachelor of Child Studies — Child and Youth Care Counselling (CYCC), is following her passions and helping make a positive impact on the lives of children, youth and their families.

Kearney shares that while she always knew she wanted to work with children, her initial experience with post-secondary education was difficult and she struggled to find an undergraduate program specific enough to fit her goals.

“I was attending a very large university, hated the program I was in and felt very lost,” she admits. “Then I found the CYCC program, made the switch to MRU and it was such a great experience. The more I learned, the more I knew it was the perfect fit for what I was looking for. The classes were real! Everything you learned was tangible and could be applied to the work you’d be doing.”

One of Kearney’s favourite parts of the program was the addition of diversity training, including learning from Indigenous Elders and LGBTQ2S+ awareness. She also credits Mount Royal’s small class sizes, supportive community and opportunities to participate in research for reigniting the excitement in her education.


"I am grateful for MRU and credit my time there as a source of much personal growth and development."

Shannon Kearney


“The instructors are amazing. They know your name and want to see you succeed. I was lucky enough to be a research assistant for one of my professors and travel to Ireland to present that research!”

In addition to research, students of the CYCC program are also introduced to experiential learning through practicums, fieldwork and capstone courses. These opportunities give students first-hand experience in a workplace setting, as well as an opportunity to build professional connections.

“The fieldwork and practicums prepare you so well for when you enter the workforce and help to build up your resume,” she says. “I actually still work at one of the agencies where I did my practicum. Within a month of graduating I was working there full time.”

In her current role, Kearney provides mental health services to children and their families. While the work she does can be challenging, she says she is proud of being able to make a difference in the lives of children and youth each and every day.

Continuing to pursue her passion, Kearney has started her Masters of Counselling at City University and hopes to become a registered psychologist or counselling therapist.

“My great experience at MRU encouraged me to continue my educational journey and to gain further counselling skills to better serve the children and families I hope to work with one day,” she says. “Staying true to my Child and Youth Care Counsellor roots, I would love to work with children and youth in a school setting.”

With a number of big goals already accomplished, and many more still ahead, Kearney is thankful for the journey of learning that got her here.

“I really valued my time at MRU. I didn’t just learn whatever the course outcomes were, I learned a lot about myself too. I am grateful for MRU and credit my time there as a source of much personal growth and development.”

June 24, 2021