The Moncton Wildcats are honoured to nominate Francis Langlois for this year’s Gervais-Munger Award for Academic Perseverance.
Francis joined our team in 2019 as a 17-year-old. Since that time, Francis has grown into a responsible and self-motivated student. From the very beginning of his time with the Wildcats, Francis has been a source of positive energy and enthusiasm for the team. He is developing into a leader. On his educational journey, Francis has faced some challenges, including a couple of changes to his path, as well as some challenging courses he has had to overcome in order to get to where he wants to be in the future. All along the way, he has pushed through the challenges and has become a more mature and confident student-athlete who sets the bar high for his teammates.
Like all players last year, being sent home and having the season cancelled was a very difficult thing to deal with. At this same time, Francis was struggling to complete his first two online Cegep courses. Learning online was a big adjustment for him as it was his first time having to manage his own schedule and find the motivation to do the work. He had just enrolled in two new online university courses as well. This was a change in his original path from taking Cegep-only courses. He decided he wanted to acquire some university credits and work towards a business degree. This meant, however, that he’d have to take courses in English which would be a challenge. Had the season gone ahead as usual, Francis would have had the support of me and his teammates in class to help with the language barrier. But since he was sent home, he didn’t have these resources as easily available. It was a challenge that he faced without hesitation. It took him almost six months to complete the courses, but he did it and received very high marks!
By the time the next hockey season began, Francis had decided to continue on his university path at l’Universite de Moncton, where he would take a management course and a calculus course. About half way through the semester, he started to struggle in calculus. He accessed an online tutoring service and attended all available work sessions provided by the university. When this wasn’t enough to keep him afloat, we hired a private tutor for him. This meant putting in extra hours outside of the team classroom, but Francis was determined to do whatever it took to pass this course. Working extra hours for school is something that Francis started doing from the beginning actually. He was often the first to arrive (early) to class and the last to leave. In the end, his hard work paid off – he passed his calculus course!
Aside from the academic victories that Francis’ perseverance has led to, the personal growth that he has shown since joining the team is remarkable. He is no longer lost in the online learning space but rather a confident, self-motivated student who isn’t afraid to tackle hard things or to ask for help when he needs it. It has been a pleasure to see such positive growth during such a difficult time and I look forward to seeing what his future holds. He is definitely on the right track.
Text by Sarah Noseworthy, Academic Advisor for the Moncton Wildcats