Fostering community connections

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June 9, 2021
Each year, human services students put compassion into action through a community project in their leadership course.
Leadership project
Offered to second-year students in the child and youth care and early learning and child care programs, the project includes choosing a cause to support, preparing and presenting a proposal, working as a team, developing communication skills and implementing projects that make a difference.
“This course benefits communities. Students learn and grow from taking the initiative to make a difference for community members,” explains Joanne McDonald, chair of human services at Lakeland.
For the project, students support causes though fundraising, gathering donations, hosting events and other methods. They pitch their project idea to a panel of Dragon’s Den-inspired judges who help them refine both their project and their presentation skills.
This year, with the added challenges of the on-going COVID-19 pandemic making many of the traditional project activities impossible, students had to be particularly creative when choosing their project.
It also gave students different priorities for many of the projects, and they chose to focus on things like fostering connection between community and helping give people hope and reasons to smile.
Kara Mouly’s group chose to launch a pen pal program between elementary school students and seniors in lodges.
“Because of the pandemic, these two groups weren’t really seeing each other as often as they were before,” explains Mouly, a first-year child and youth care student. “We thought this would be a good way to connect them during the pandemic and bring the community together. It’s important for younger students to connect with older age groups, to have a mentor or someone to look up to, whether it’s someone in their family, the community or their pen pal.”
Mouly and her group created a video featuring their grandparents and younger relatives discussing how COVID-19 had impacted. They had virtual meetings with school classes, gathered lists of interested children and seniors, and then delivered the letters and responses.
“It went really well,” Mouly says. “The seniors were so happy and the children loved telling them about their lives and all the things they like to do. I’ve heard the school continued the program, so they must have gotten good feedback from the students as well.”
Lana Rogan, a second-year early learning and child care student, originally wanted to do a project involving athletics with a youth group but the pandemic made the logistics of that plan almost impossible.
Instead, she and her group chose to make and donate children’s activity baskets for the Interval House in North Battleford, Sask.
A large focus of their project was the pitch presentation to the panel, in which they brought in a number of objects that were significant to child development. They gave each judge a backstory with a different upbringing, and then gave the objects they had brought to the person with the most advantages in their upbringing. That judge then had all the items they needed to help with their development and had to choose how to share those resources with the others.
“We wanted to give the panel a visual of what we were trying to do,” Rogan explains. “The Interval Home is a women’s shelter, but we knew that many of the women bring their children there too. We thought it was important to support the children this way so they’d have the materials they need that were appropriate for their development, to help them keep up with their milestones no matter their backstory.”
The group made baskets filled with colouring books, crayons, flash cards, Play Doh, puzzles and more. The baskets were dropped off on March 12.
“I’m pretty proud of our project,” Rogan says. “Projects like this are important to the early learning and child care program because whatever roles we end up in later, there will always be extra money needed for activities and materials and things that will further the children’s learning and development. Fundraising is an important part of the job.”
Other groups worked on creating Hope Boxes with children in the campus daycare program to give to their parents, smile baskets for children at Ronald McDonald House in Edmonton, collecting donations for homeless shelters, and collecting pencils for teachers to give out to students who need them.
Photos: Top - Lana Rogan and her group presenting their project to the panel. Middle - Kara Mouly, whose group connected seniors and school children pen pals. Bottom - Joanne McDonald, chair of human services, participates in Lana Rogan's presentation.
What Students Say
With the Student-Managed Farm you learn to be accountable for what you’re doing and the choices you make. You get an understanding of what it’s like to be out in industry or on a farm making decisions that count.

– Anthony Biglieni

Agribusiness Class of 2006

What Alumni Say
Lakeland College has been a integral partner in growing our own through the school of business. As an alumnus of the college, I have first-hand learning experience in the school of business. The professors welcome Servus Credit Union to facilitate classes in the Business Ethics course each year.

– Sandi Unruh

Senior Human Resources Consultant

What Faculty & Staff Say
Vertex has had great experience bringing on students from Lakeland College. We have found the Bachelor of Applied Science (Environmental Management) program to provide students with good academic knowledge of the environmental industry and the criteria that governs the land reclamation

– Sean Fuller B.Sc., P.Ag.

Vice President, Environmental Services, Vertex.

What Alumni Say
There is no way I would be where I am today without Lakeland College. It inspired me to be a better person and to get a job in something I love doing. I am so thankful I had such a great experience at Lakeland and I hope future students do as well.

– Danielle Gaboury

Business studies, Class of 2016.

What Students Say
I recommend the UT program to people all the time. The smaller setting Lakeland offers, is very conducive to learning. It's less intimidating than the larger universities and allows for more class interactions and discussions

– Kelly Mykytuk

2nd year UT student, 2017-18

What Alumni Say
Choosing to attend Lakeland College was one of the best decisions that I’ve made in my life so far. The welcoming and friendly Lakeland environment encourages a place of excellence, and fosters the ability to be successful not only in school, but in life.

– Mariah Van’t Hof

University Transfer, Class of 2015

What Alumni Say
I have loved my experience at Lakeland. The teachers are personable, and quick to share about their own experiences. They encouraged me to run with my own ideas and see what would happen; they got excited about my designs, which gave me the confidence to do my best and be more creative.

– Payton Ramstead

Class of 2016, Interior Design student.

What Alumni Say
At Lakeland College you are guaranteed to have time out of the classroom where you can put everything you learned together and actually see that what you’re learning is relevant.

– Alisa Brace

Animal Health Technology, Class of 2016.

What Alumni Say
The friendships I made, the experiences we were provided with, and the welcoming atmosphere of the Vermilion Campus made my time at Lakeland extremely valuable and memorable

– Grayden Kay

Animal Science & Agribusiness, Class of 2016.

What Alumni Say
Lakeland College was a learning environment unlike any other school. It allows students to learn beyond the classroom, and staff and faculty genuinely want to see students succeed. It’s a place where you can feel comfortable asking questions and where everyone has a place and fits in.

– Carson Reid

Agribusiness, Class of 2016.

What Alumni Say
The instructors were the highlight of my time at Lakeland. It made a huge impact on my college experience to have instructors who challenged, encouraged, and believed in me.

– Jessica Cadrain

Child & Youth Care, Class of 2016.

What Alumni Say
At the beginning of my first year, I was really stressed out as I felt I had no artistic ability. But with the instruction and time put in by the interior design faculty, I was able to develop my artistic abilities. Now I am fully confident in and exceeding well in the artistic side of this career!

– Naomi Mason

Interior Design Technology, Class of 2016.

What Alumni Say
I just feel like you get the best education at Lakeland, especially from the time that the instructors can actually spend with you. I like the class sizes too – everything’s been great about my Lakeland experience.

– Dean Coulson

Heavy Equipment Technician, Class of 2016.

What Alumni Say
I do give Lakeland College credit for reigniting my interest and even preparing me for Miss Rodeo Canada. Lakeland helped me to grow enough to have the confidence to think I could take on that role and become that person. I think that I have and I am really grateful for that

– Ali Mullin

Agribusiness, class of 2014, former Miss Rodeo Canada.

What Alumni Say
I feel the professors at Lakeland actually prepared me for the profession. It’s impossible to be just a number here when there are 12 students in all of your classes. When the school advertised small class sizes, they actually meant it.

– Stephen Mark Visser

Real Estate Appraisal and Assessment, Class of 2016.

What Alumni Say
I was involved in the president’s gala in April where I was an emcee for the evening, it was a great experience, and I had a lot of fun doing it and would recommend it to everyone.”

– Lucas Tetreault

HOPE Power Engineering, Class of 2017.

What Alumni Say
I would recommend Lakeland College for the simple fact that it's for everybody. As a mature student who went back to school much later than his 18th year, I was immediately accepted, and not ostracized in the least

– Donald James Shaw

Accounting Major, Class of 2016.

What Alumni Say
All the hands-on learning was great and very helpful once placed into the industry. Having clients leave with a smile after each service assured me that I was in the right field of work. I would recommend Lakeland to anyone.

– Courtnee Coolidge

Esthetician, Class of 2016.

What Alumni Say
The professors care so much about their students at Lakeland and are able to know each and every one of them by name, so much so that they are able to nominate a ton of students for awards.

– Stephanie Wakefeild

University Transfer, Class of 2016.

What Alumni Say
They really put you in the lead at Lakeland. Lakeland cares about its students, empowers them, and gives them opportunities to achieve their goals. I don’t see Lakeland as a stepping stone or a first step – I see it as a bridge and an integral part of my education.

– Alyssa Wells

University Transfer, Class of 2017.

What Alumni Say
I wanted to get experience in the field of assessment as it would give me exposure to what it’s like day to day. It was an invaluable experience as I find it hard to imagine what it would be like working in a particular field or area until I’m doing the work.

– Sheldon Farrell

Real estate appraisal and assessment, Class of 2017.

What Alumni Say
In the campus spa, they give you time to work with each client so nothing is rushed and you’re able to concentrate on providing the best service you can to your client.

– Daphney Couturier

Esthetician, Class of 2017.

What Alumni Say
It’s going to be a lot easier to start our first jobs having this experience and having been able to build our confidence in the campus spa. I love that we get to have this opportunity.

– Darby Watchel

Esthetician, Class of 2017.

What Employers Say
Lakeland is a great place to find employees. The college provides real world training that equips soon-to-be employees with knowledge and people skills that are highly sought after in the agriculture industry these days.

– Dustin Dinwoodie

Key Account Manager – Western Canada Arysta LifeScience

What Alumni Say
The hands-on field trips, quality of education i received, professors who are invested in your success, and all the friends I made. I exceeded my academic expectations and I also had a lot of fun. If i had to do it all over gain, i would choose Lakeland!

– Nicole (Audet) Pysh

Class of 2006, Environmental Protection & Class of 2008, Applied Environmental Degree