Students who participated in the Volunteer & Community Engagement Fair held by Founders College and the School of Social Work at York University on Feb. 5 had the chance to learn about a wide range of future opportunities related to both their academic and personal interests from more than 20 organizations in attendance.
The diverse assortment of groups and sectors being showcased ranged from locally-based organizations such as Agincourt Community Services Association, the Friends of Ruby space for LGBTQI2S youth and the Kipling Acres long-term care home, to organizations that operate nationally and internationally, such as Big Brothers Big Sisters, Canadian National Institute for the Blind and March of Dimes. A complete list of groups in attendance can be found on the event’s website.
Volunteering is an excellent way for students to develop skills, gain experience and enhance their resumes, all while giving back to their community and helping a cause they feel passionate about. The fair, which was open to all students at York University, connected attendees with organizations looking to meet and recruit students for various volunteer positions.
“In inviting a number of community organizations and service providers to the fair, the intention was to give students an opportunity to network with various social service providers in exploring volunteer opportunities and fostering and consolidating community engagement between students in programs requiring some attention to experiential education,” said Founders College Head Pablo Idahosa.
“In partnering with one of our affiliated programs, the School of Social Work, the fair sought to embody features of Founders’ motto, ‘Self, Culture & Society’,” Idahosa added.
The fair was of interest to students like Noorin Pattni, a third-year Psychology major enrolled in International Development Studies. Pattni is particularly interested in exploring options that dovetail with her goal of establishing a career in counselling. While at the fair, she spoke with representatives of Victims Services Toronto, a group that provides short-term crisis response, intervention and prevention services responsive to the needs of individuals, families and communities in the immediate aftermath of crime and sudden tragedy.
For Idahosa, this is exactly the kind of opportunity that he hopes students like Pattni will seize. “Our primary focus was to promote outreach and bridges to our communities, ultimately contributing to encouraging students to volunteer their time and skills to both service organizations and to people and communities who might face challenges,” he said.
The event was supported by the Faculty of Liberal Arts & Professional Studies Global and Community Engagement Events and Outreach Fund.
A full list of events hosted by Founders College can be found on the college’s website.