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January 25, 2019 2:11 PM

Get Involved Fair connects students with community volunteer opportunities

From January 22 to 24, more than 25 non-profit organizations attended the Get Involved Fair at the Doon campus. Established by Student Engagement more than 10 years ago, the fair provides students with opportunities to connect with community organizations seeking volunteers so they can develop new skills and leadership qualities to build their portfolios, enhance their resumes and grow their networks.

onestoga College - Get Involved Fair Winter 2018.jpg
Conestoga's Student Engagement team hosted the Get Involved Fair at the Doon campus January 22 through 24 to connect student volunteers with community organizations.

“It’s really encouraging to see community agencies seeking out Conestoga students for their skills and training, and recognizing the value that they bring to community organizations,” said Carolyn Keays, Student Engagement programmer - Co-Curricular Record & Engagement. “This also provides a great opportunity for increasing awareness of the valuable services and programs in the Waterloo Region. We want to thank the community organizations for coming to our campuses to showcase their opportunities and connect with our students.”

Among the agencies in attendance at the Doon fair were KW Habilitation, Girl Guides Canada, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Waterloo Region, Pride Stables and Adults in Motion.

Rhonda Lee, of Family & Children’s Services of the Waterloo Region, said her organization has seen a steady stream of Conestoga volunteers over the years, mostly from the School of Community Services.

“We just started a training session and already have four new Conestoga students with us,” said Lee, who attends both the fall and winter Get Involved Fairs. “Right now, we have a great need for drivers, special event volunteers, teams for our Hockey Fest and people that can help with our art, theatre and music groups.”

A team from Revenue Canada attended the fair as well to recruit volunteers for community tax clinics, but agency representatives said attendance at the fair also gives them a chance to remind students about the free tax software available on Canada.ca, and share information about potential job opportunities.

To support student involvement in the community, Student Engagement has started to partner with community organizations to officially recognize Conestoga student volunteers through the Co-Curricular Record (CCR) should the opportunity meet eligibility requirements. Conestoga’s CCR program documents and authenticates participation in approved co-curricular experiences, and contributes to learning and employability.

Next week, the Get Involved Fair moves to the Waterloo campus.

Conestoga’s Student Engagement team (formerly Student Life) meets the needs of students through innovative programming designed to achieve goals with learning outcomes-based initiatives including the Co-Curricular Record, Orientation, the Respect Campaign, the Connect Leadership Workshop Series, Campus Service Learning, and various student volunteer and committee opportunities.

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