Each year as schools break for the summer, thousands of students across the country begin to secure summer work, and Canada Summer Jobs funding is helping so many young Canadians do just that. This month, I’d like to take the opportunity to highlight a few of these hardworking students, and the organizations they work for.
Salfee Bhathal – The Saul & Claribel Simkin Centre
Salfee has a longstanding relationship with the Saul & Claribel Simkin Centre as she began volunteering there during high school. A recent graduate of the University of Manitoba with a Bachelor’s of Science majoring in biochemistry, Salfee now holds a full time position at the Centre as their resident Program Coordinator. Her job duties include organizing all-important bingo nights, coming up with fun new activities for residents, and overseeing the planning and execution of the Centre’s Canada 150 celebration in June. The party included over 17 different games stations for residents to try their hand at, a nine minute “lip-dub” video, and a biodegradable balloon release. When asked about her favourite part of the job, Salfee spoke of the meaningful relationships she’s developed with coworkers and residents alike, noting “I’m a completely different person than I was when I started here, and they have all shaped that person.” Cindy Greenlay at the Centre was enthusiastic about the chance to hire additional staff, noting “Being a non-profit Centre, we don’t have a budget to hire students so we apply every year! Having the Canada Summer Jobs program allows us to provide additional support for our seniors. Salfee brings youth and vitality to our Centre.”
Laura McManes and Rae Vincent – Dakota Community Centre
Both Rae, entering his last year of a commerce degree at the University of Manitoba, and Laura, mid-way through a degree in kinesiology at the University of Calgary, were enthusiastic about the “real world” work experience the Dakota Community Centre has offered them. Each has been given a distinct role within the organization. Laura acts as the Fieldhouse Coordinator, managing the myriad of details involved in its ongoing construction, from dealing with the ordering, delivery and storage of materials and equipment, to determining the . Rae has been given the title Facility Planning Rental Coordinator, and spends much of his time examining existing services in search of greater sustainability and profit generation. “You feel like an actual employee rather than just a summer student – you’re very much a part of the community here,” said Laura, when asked about her favourite part of the experience so far. Speaking about the biggest takeaway from his position this summer, Rae noted “I never realized how many different hats one individual has to wear to be involved in an organization like this, and that knowledge will be really valuable going forward in my studies.” Dakota Community is equally pleased with their students. “We’re so impressed with the calibre of students we were able to recruit to work with us this summer, with the support of the Canada Summer Jobs program”, said Michele Augert CEO of Dakota Community Centre/Jonathan Toews Sportsplex. “Both Rae and Laura have been instrumental in helping us with plans surrounding many business aspects our operation and the addition of the new Fieldhouse. We sincerely hope that the valuable experiences they’ve gained through this opportunity will serve to enhance their continued learning and career choices after they graduate.”
Anthony Bruneau – Le Marché St. Norbert Farmers’ Market
Midway through his training at the Louis Riel Arts & Technology Centre towards his certification in Information Systems Architecture, Anthony was positive what the best part of working at the market is: “Working outside, definitely. I get to do a little bit of everything, and I’m never bored!” His enjoyment of his job is evident, and is matched by the market staff’s appreciation of him. Marilyn Firth, Executive Director of the St. Norbert Market is to have had the opportunity to hire a student, saying “This is the first year we applied for a student, and the work being done has made a huge improvement to our market and site. Anthony is an excellent worker, with a great attitude. He is meticulous, pays attention to detail, and he has ensured our site looks tidy and ready for our big Saturday and Wednesday market crowds.”