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July 17, 2020 2:32 PM

Student Engagement programmer nominated for spirit award

Conestoga Student Engagement programmer Sydney Atwood has been nominated for the 2020 Spirit of Community Award from the United Way Waterloo Region Communities. The award honours an individual, group or agency that personifies exceptional community spirit, team spirit and spirit of generosity through their significant overall partnership with United Way.

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Conestoga Student Engagement programmer Sydney Atwood has been nominated for a community spirit award.

Atwood started her employment at Conestoga in August 2019 and established the United Way Waterloo Region Conestoga Student Committee in the fall 2019 term as a way to introduce Conestoga students to the work the United Way does. The committee does not fundraise, but raises awareness by focusing on the services the United Way provides as well as the community organizations it works with.

“I was very surprised and very touched,” said Atwood about the nomination. “The committee has done a lot of work over the last two semesters and the students worked really hard in developing our identity and what we’d like to achieve as a committee. It was quite touching to see that our hard work has already been recognized.”

The committee has received support and direction from Marie Dennison, donor relations specialist from United Way Waterloo Region Communities, and used the fall term to establish its name, logo, social media presence and mission: to build a community that uplifts, empowers, and spreads awareness to students about the United Way. Over the winter term, the committee engaged in in-person outreach activities and participated in the United Way’s Seeing is Believing tour which invites community members to tour agencies supported by the United Way to understand where donations are directed and how they are being used.

“I’ve learned there is a role for every student on our committee to share their skills and talents while focusing on new and exciting areas of growth,” said Atwood. “I’ve also learned that supporting our larger community requires nurturing and focusing on relationship building in our smaller communities as well - be it the Conestoga community or our United Way Waterloo Region Conestoga Student Committee.”

In the community, Atwood volunteers her time with the Kitchener-Waterloo Multicultural Centre as an English conversation partner.

“I’m always impressed with Sydney’s leadership, commitment and passion to our community partners,” said Amy Baird, manager, Student Engagement. “Her dedication to educate students on the value of volunteering on and off campus enhances student development through co-curricular programming.”

Spirit Award winners will be announced and honoured on United Way Waterloo Region Communities website: http://www.iamtheone.ca/spiritawards/.

Conestoga’s Student Engagement team 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, and various student volunteer and committee opportunities.

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