Conestoga news

May 28, 2023 8:38 PM

Volunteer support highlighted at appreciation event

Conestoga's Student Engagement celebrated volunteers and student staff last month at an appreciation event highlighting support of student programs that foster academic, personal and professional success. 

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Conestoga's Student Engagement celebrated volunteers and student staff at an appreciation event highlighting support of student programs that foster academic, personal and professional success.

More than 70 students involved as ambassadors, peer mentors and mentees, English conversation partners, orientation volunteers, placement students, and peer wellness navigators, as well as members of various student committees, were in attendance.

"The pathway to student success includes a dynamic college experience rich in opportunities that empower learners to be effective leaders and members of their communities," said Amy Baird, Student Engagement manager. "We are grateful to our outstanding volunteers and student staff  that lend their talents and expertise to help shape and support meaningful opportunities for Conestoga students that add to their skills, knowledge, and confidence and foster a sense of belonging and connection to enrich the student experience."

Conestoga's Student Engagement meets the needs of students through innovative programming designed to achieve goals with learning outcomes-based initiatives, including the Co-Curricular Record; Orientation; equity, diversity and inclusion education and programming; the Leadership Workshop series; and various student volunteer and committee opportunities.

The college recently welcomed thousands of new students across campuses and virtual platforms, participating in orientation activities ahead of the start of the spring term. More than 150 volunteers and student ambassadors supported in-person activities designed to ensure a successful transition to Conestoga. 

The English Conversation Program matches a fluent English-speaking Conestoga student, graduate, employee or retiree with an international student for weekly casual conversations. The program helps English language learners improve conversational English, connect to others in the college community and become more familiar with Conestoga and life in Canada, while volunteers benefit from increased cultural awareness, improved communication skills and the opportunity to meet a community member from another part of the world. Since 2017, more than 425 students have been paired and volunteers have donated more than 2,000 hours of time. During the winter 2023 term, Student Engagement hosted 60 conversation cafes which saw a total of 396 attendees.

Among committee initiatives are the African, Black and Caribbean (ABC) Student Committee and the International Women's Day Student Committee, which help plan, organize and lead events at the college that celebrate and support students. The next ABC drop-in session is planned for June 13 at the Waterloo campus.

To learn more about Student Engagement initiatives and how to get involved, visit the Student Success Portal