50 Grads, 50 Years

In honour of Champlain College Saint-Lambert’s 50th anniversary, we followed up with 50 of our graduates to highlight their achievements.


In honour of the Champlain Saint-Lambert’s 50th anniversary, the college has followed up with 50 of its alumni to see where their paths have led after their time in Cegep. These 50 former students have gone on to accomplish amazing things and their paths show just how much is possible for a Champlain grad.

Jessica Silva

This Champlain grad landed a coaching role with the FC Metz in France.

Jessica Silva has been a self-described “sports fanatic” for most of her life. But after a string of injuries sidelined her from playing sports, she found another way to stay on the field.

Silva (Social Science, 2007) is the director of the women’s section of FC Metz, a professional football club located in Lorraine, France.

In her Cegep days, Silva had already started coaching for the Club Soccer Longueuil.

“I grew a huge passion for coaching at a very young age,” she said. “I was working in [soccer] full-time but I didn’t think I could make a career out of it. I didn’t think I could have a job in pro sports, especially as a woman.”

Silva continued to work with CS Longueuil for nine years.

Silva said it was during her last couple years doing a degree in Physical Education at McGill University that she started to think a career in coaching might actually be possible for her.

Silva worked with Club Soccer Longueuil for eight years before going to work with the Federation Soccer du Québec and the Canadian Soccer Association. She also worked as an assistant coach for the McGill Women’s Soccer team during the same period.

She said working full-time while balancing school work was challenging, but she was motivated to continue.

Silva wasn’t even 30 when she got offered a chance to move to France and take a role with US Orléans Loiret Football. She worked with the women’s team in Orléans for two years before taking on a new role with FC Metz.

During FIFA Women’s Soccer Development Workshops she took in 2014 and 2015, Silva was inspired to apply for her UEFA license by renowned British football legend Hope Powell.

Powell, the former coach of the England women’s national football team and the Great Britain women’s Olympic football team, told Silva at the FIFA workshop that she needed to think bigger.

“She kind of gave me the tap on the shoulder and said: ‘You have a lot of potential. You ought to be in Europe,’” recalled Silva.

Coming off a win at the Canada Games, Silva decided to set her sights on the pro soccer world.

“I really wanted to be in the middle of an actual professional environment, so I made the jump to Europe,” she said.

She said her three years with FC Metz have been an “adventure” and that she’s looking forward to where her passion for women’s soccer will take her next.

Jessica Silva’s advice for current students and recent grads: “Life is about choosing a door and once you open that door, there’s going to be a long corridor with a bunch of other doors. and every door you open, there’s new opportunities. There’s no set book on how you achieve your career, but you have to have faith in your capacities and have confidence that no matter what happens, you will achieve whatever you put your mind to.”

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