I am honoured to represent Ontario’s college students through College Student Alliance. I will not take the privilege of presidency lightly, and I will do everything I can to listen to – and advocate for – our membership.
I grew up in northwestern Ontario in a small town, and I have been involved an active student leader for as long as I can remember. I am a bilingual, Metis individual who is actively involved in the Thunder Bay community.
I am currently enrolled in the Social Service Worker program at Confederation College in Thunder Bay, and will graduate in May 2017. This learning experience has taught me how to properly, and successfully, advocate on behalf of underserved populations. With this knowledge, I can effectively listen to CSA’s membership, understand their priorities, and be a guide through the complex government system to make our priorities realities.
The opportunity of being CSA’s president could not have come at a better time. After struggling with anxiety and depression for many years, I have realized my purpose in life: to help others. You might question how it is possible to help others while dealing with personal issues. The great thing about life and experiential learning is that you can better understand yourself, and your purpose, through doing.
Being elected as CSA’s president is much more than just advocacy. Being part of a family of like-minded individuals, and feeling their passion, is remarkable. It is what we do for students on Ontario’s college campuses that make this organization tremendous. Some of our great initiatives that are dear to my heart are our mental health campaign, the Yellow Umbrella Project, and the scholarship and bursary initiatives.
As president, I have many priorities for 2016/17. I am a strong advocate for inclusive campuses, focusing on Indigenous and international students. With the membership, I want to ensure that there will be equal opportunities for all students who choose to study in Ontario. Ontario’s 24 colleges must be more transparent and accountable to their “customers”; we are the driving force for the future and Ontario’s economy. We want to see happy, healthy students who excel in their studies to become knowledgeable and hardworking individuals. Thus far, the summer months have been filled with stakeholder meetings, media opportunities, and Board of Directors priorities. I can not wait to see what all we can accomplish in 2016/17.
In closing, I would like to thank the great team of individuals that support our membership each and every day, along with CSA’s partners that help make these efforts possible. Don’t forget: our future is now. You should be a part of it!