As a teen, I considered myself fortunate that some of my Catholic friends invited me to the ‘Adapted Aquatics’ swim program for youth with disabilities at the Dalewood Pool. These friends were volunteering through their high-school but more importantly were trying to avoid early Sunday Mass. I was just trying to avoid church. Truthfully, I think the life lessons I learnt in that pool as a volunteer have been as strong as the ones I have learnt later in life when I did return to church.
What I witnessed during those years volunteering was dedication to someone outside oneself, exuberant joy, tears, confidence building and teenage silliness in full force. There was occasionally a bit of pity for those who were ‘different’. The dedication started with the organizers from a local service club, adult leaders, volunteers and families.
There were some tears when a youth could not do something on land. Once in the pool however, there was such a transformation! Some of the youth just wanted to be normal kids with no restrictions, some just wanted to quietly float. Continue Reading
Found during Escarpment Clean-up.
After graduating from the post-graduate Public Relations program from Mohawk College in 2011, I dived right into a career in the for-profit sector. When I left Mohawk, I thought this business life was for me – I had my heart set on working in an agency and never thought about the not-for-profit sector. Little did I know, I was ignoring what I had always been truly passionate about.
Last year, the business publication I worked for shut its doors. This was my chance to plan out what I truly wanted to get out of my career and the job I would spend five days a week at. Continue Reading
So I had this wonderful idea in my head about my next blog; how awesome Hamilton truly is! And then one week before mine was to come out on ABC, Laura Herbert, a fellow blogger, posted her May 3rd edition titled “A City to Be Proud of”. For a split second I was a little bummed out that I wouldn’t be able to put in words and share with others how my heart belongs to Hamilton, and then I snapped back into reality and focused on how wonderful it is to know other’s feel the same! So here I am, fully understanding that my blog is not unique and that for two weeks in a row, Alumni will be reading about Hamilton, and I wouldn’t change the topic if I had to!
Lu Ann (right) graduated from Mohawk’s Advertising Program in 2012.
In class education officially ended for me back in January 2012, however it didn’t exactly feel like I was finished until months after my June convocation. It’s probably similar to everyone else – once school starts back up in September you start to realize something is actually different. I no longer had to stock up on boxes weeks in advance to pack up a year of my life for my move back to Hamilton. Even though I was working, it still felt weird not having a place to get up and go to everyday seeing the same professors and classmates. Looking back on my very first day of college, I remember deciding that my main goal for the next three years at Mohawk was to excel and graduate on time. At that time, I never thought about life after school until I walked across the stage to graduate.
Mohawk taught me a great deal about what I want to do with my life and also about the kind of person I want to be. Developing the skills needed to get a job in my industry was only the start. During my time at Mohawk, I also developed a passion for volunteering and a perpetual need to get involved in the community around me. Volunteering is not only a great way to help others and explore new passions but it is also a great way to build your resume and gain experience.