The Patro d’Ottawa, an Ottawa organization for Francophones, has partnered with the Michaëlle Jean Centre for Global and Community Engagement (MJCGCE) to implement a mentorship and engagement program aimed at high school students. (...)
Last fall, Lisa Leslie, a high school student at Collège catholique Samuel-Genest, participated in the project along with 11 of her peers. She explained that initially, she was motivated by the opportunity to complete the mandatory volunteer hours required to graduate. Her participation in a project to spruce up the Patro d’Ottawa building and to create a used clothing exchange program at her school made her realize that small measures can make a big difference. (...) She learned that it is possible to “change certain things in the lives of others” while “improving her leadership and communications skills.” She also met new people and acquired “a genuine sense of pride.”
Vicky’s placements have allowed her to benefit more from her time at the University. In addition to studying and reading, she has helped people and learned more about her field. As well, volunteering has enabled her, a francophone student, to improve her English, since most of the placements on the Navigator are bilingual.
Volunteering can really open doors. Just ask Élyse Normand, a fourth-year human kinetics student. Élyse, who has been an elite athlete for several years and is currently a coach, discovered the Community Service Learning (CSL) program through her APA 3113 - Management of Sporting Events and Festivals course.
Last summer, Aminata Cissé, a third-year biochemistry undergraduate from Mali found herself with quite a bit of free time on her hands: she was taking courses part time and was looking for a good way to spend the extra time between classes. So she dropped by the Career Centre, where the counsellors recommended that she volunteer. They explained that volunteering would help her refine her career plans since, as an international student, she had little in the way of Canadian work experience. She knew she wanted to help others, so she decided to apply for extracurricular volunteer positions posted on the Community Engagement Navigator, which is hosted by the Michaëlle Jean Centre for Global and Community Engagement.
Cloé didn’t hesitate to apply for a community service learning placement at the centre, as part of her FEM 1500 course in women, gender and feminism. Cloé says she has been a very helpful person since she was a child, and as a francophone student, she has a good understanding of marginalization among francophones, including homeless or low-income women.
The #getinvolved campaign was created by the Michaëlle Jean Centre for Global and Community Engagement, with the goal of recognizing university students and professors who are involved on campus and in the community.