Even amid a global pandemic, there are still various ways to volunteer and lend a helping hand and support worthy causes. In the last few months, two students from the University of Ottawa have demonstrated this by successfully completing their Community Service Learning (CSL) placements virtually. Emma Ouellette and Chloe O'Malley share their experience volunteering remotely and the benefits that come with it.
Emma Ouellette is a third-year student in the Honours Bachelor of Science in Biomedical Science who completed her placement as Virtual Tutor with Conseil des écoles Catholiques du Centre Est (CECCE). As part of her duties, she organized and facilitated virtual tutoring sessions with two elementary students. She helped these students with their Mathematics and French assignments four days a week via videoconference.
“While volunteering for the CECCE, I organized and hosted virtual mentoring sessions with two newcomer elementary students. I helped those students four days a week with their homework and helped them learn French through videoconference. This placement allowed me to develop my problem-solving and collaborative skills. This way of teaching meant it was easier to schedule regular and structured sessions and we had a platform to socialize in French. Students really liked to see me, and we developed a great complicity from the comfort of their home.”
Chloe O’Malley is a second-year student also in the Honours Bachelor of Science in Biomedical Science. She recently completed her CSL placement with Ausome Ottawa, an organization that helps children with autism stay active through athletic activities.
“This was an amazing opportunity that allowed me to connect what I was learning in my psychology course to real life.Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, there were some differences with how the placement was run; instead of helping out with in-person sports programs, I helped out with online Zoom classes that were run by a trained coach.I also made Stay Active with Ausome YouTube videos that demonstrated various exercises for the children to do to remain active during the quarantine. Even though my volunteering was done virtually it was still an incredible learning experience that I wholeheartedly recommend for any student at uOttawa.”
Now, it’s your turn. How You Can Get Involved?
The community engagement team has a number of volunteer placements that you can choose from.You can also look up placements on the Community Engagement Navigator (via uoZone) to view current opportunities available on- or off-campus.