Registration still open for community action projects!

As midterms are coming to an end, some of you may be looking for a way to connect with the community that doesn’t involve meeting up at Robarts! If this sounds like you, consider getting involved with some Community Action Projects!

TOMORROW October 30th will be the last day to register for Youth Mentorship! You would be working with a 6th, 7th or 8th grade student from January until March for 45 minutes twice a week! While it does start at 8am, it would be an awesome way to start your day–I promise!

If working with high schoolers sounds more appealing to you, why not check out the TDSB tutors program! Especially if you love math, there is a program just for you! Registration ends November 11, so apply now to spend an awesome 2 hours a week in a high school classroom until June!

Maybe working with kids isn’t your calling, and that’s okay! Try volunteering with some of our senior programming and become a friendly visitor. You would visit at either Fudger House or Kensington Gardens for 1 to 2 hours a week. Check out Melody’s blog post on her experience as a friendly visitor here. This program has open registration, so apply when you can!

Connecting with other students and the community is an awesome way to enhance your university experience. We hope to hear from you soon!

Still Accepting Applications for Youth Mentorship!

We are still accepting applications for students interested in volunteering with youth mentorship at Portage Trail Community School!

If interested, click here!

Here is a reflection from Jovan Glenn*, a volunteer last year and this year’s Student Project Lead.

originally published March 2015

Prior to this school year I honestly had no idea what the Centre for Community Partnerships was. The first time I heard about the CCP was around the beginning of the school year, when a good friend of mine by the mane of Yusuf told me he was getting involved in a community project. He explained the bare bones of the project – an opportunity to mentor younger kids and show them that University is not out of reach, but my interest was piqued when he mentioned that the program would take place at Rockliffe Middle School. An opportunity to get involved in a school in my community, and work with one of my greatest friends seemed like an opportunity too good to pass up.

Then, as if by means of fate (if you believe in that kind of stuff), the program switched from Rockliffe Middle School to Potage Trail Community Middle School, meaning that I was going to be volunteering at the school I used to attend. My disappointment in not meeting the Rockliffe kids notwithstanding, this was probably the most excited I’d ever been for a project. Although I’ve visited my high school every year since I graduated, and have even dropped by my elementary school every so often, I had never returned to Portage since I left. Mind you, this wasn’t out of my disdain for Portage or anything of the sort, it’s just that I never really had the opportunity. I believe that my time at Portage had an enormous effect in shaping who I am today, and to be able to roam those halls again, see teachers whom I still admire, all while giving back to the school was an opportunity I couldn’t pass up.

Our first day at Portage as mentors was fantastic, and a surreal experience for myself. As Ms. Broomfield (who coordinated this program on Portage’s end) walked us through the halls I knew like the back of my hand, I couldn’t help but remember little moments that happened when I was a Middle Schooler. It was as if actually seeing those tiny blue chairs and tiny water fountains triggered memories of friends whom I still keep in touch with to this day. Which brings me to another point: everything felt much smaller! I know I might’ve grown a bit since middle school, but when I was younger I thought Portage was a pretty large school. I guess it’s all about perspective.

The kids at Portage were a delight to work with, and honestly reminded me a bit of myself and my old classmates. There were kids who were initially shy yet inquisitive, there were kids who were a bit more outgoing and hyperactive, and you had kids who were bit of both – shy at first but then more vocal as they got more comfortable around us. They were mirror images of ourselves as kids, and honestly probably a lot smarter. I saw kids using Microsoft Office tools much more effectively than I could when I was 13 years old. The kids had bright ideas, and as mentors we were surprised at the end of it how energetic they could be at 8 AM, a task that was nearly impossible for us on most days. Those students were a joy to work with, and they may or may not know this, but they are extremely fortunate to have a teacher like Ms. Broomfield. There is an authenticity to her love for the students, and the work she puts in to ensure that they are well prepared for the future exemplifies that. As most students know there are only a handful of teachers you’ll ever experience who genuinely care, and I can definitely say that Ms. Broomfield is one of them.

I want to personally thank everybody involved in this project, from my good friend Yusuf and every mentor who was a part of this! I want to also thank Kristina Minnella, who coordinated this program from the U of T end, and who is as caring and thoughtful as any teacher you’ll ever meet. I want to also give a quick shout-out to the kids at Portage, good luck in High School and make the most of your time there! To Ms. Dehal, thank you for building my appreciation for Science (although I may never truly understand it) and to Mr. Patel, sorry for being as blissfully ignorant as I was in middle school, but let’s be honest here, 7A was (and will always be) your best class! Thanks again!

*Jovan Glenn
University of Toronto, Class of 2016
Economics and Political Science Major

Unexpected Friends at Fudger House

By Melody Zhao*

I walked up to the door, unsure but excited. It was my first day as a friendly visitor to chat with residents at the Fudger House long-term care home. Ruth, the volunteer coordinator, was so warm and welcoming that I felt at ease at once. Her friendly presence was reflected in the residents as well, who were just as welcoming to me. Ruth introduced me to many of the residents there, and their stories made me laugh and smile so much that I knew I had made a good choice to volunteer there.

Although I was eager to chat with everyone, I was there in particular to chat with Chinese speaking residents that could not speak English fluently. Although Ruth did not speak Chinese herself, her beaming smile conveyed all that was needed as she introduced me. For me, it was a chance to contribute to the community with my bilingual ability and practice Chinese; for the residents, it was a wonderful time to speak in their first language. I spoke to a very kind old man, and we chatted about our backgrounds and families. I realized how much in common we had with one another, despite our difference in years. It was a great experience to connect with my Chinese roots through the conversation, and I found it very rewarding to make even a small positive difference in his day. As I left, I will never forget how he smiled at Ruth, pointed at me and said to her: “Wo de zhong guo peng you”, which means “my friend from China”. I never thought it would be so impactful, but it really made me feel like I had made a difference.

Over the course of my following visits, I had a great time talking to other residents as well. Each person has so many stories within us, that getting to speak to residents at Fudger House, looking at pictures with them, reminiscing and talking about life feels like a privilege. As the senior projects assistant this year, I can’t wait to bring this experience to more students at UofT!

*Melody Zhao is a fourth year Molecular Genetics specialist, and has volunteered at Fudger House since May.

Registration to volunteer at Fudger House is currently still open! Go to: http://www.studentlife.utoronto.ca/ccp/fudger to register!

Ignore the registration deadline listed on website.

 

Democracy Week and the CCP

With the federal election coming up in less that three weeks, U of T is abuzz with civic engagement and action. For those of who went to Hart House’s 5 Buck Lunch on Monday, the endless line of tables from various political groups would have been hard to miss. At the CCP we set up a “Dotmacracy” for students to indicate the federal issue that mattered most to them, and a Ridings Map to ensure that students knew the riding they are meant to vote in.

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Yesterday we had a Vote Pop-Up in Sid Smith! Simulating the experience of voting in a federal election, students were able to see what the ballots look like and vote on the every important issue of “What if your favourite way to make friends at U of T?” (results will be released on the CCP’s Facebook next week!).

Don’t worry if you missed it though, there is still time to politicize yourself for the election!

THURSDAY OCT. 1

University-Rosedale Open Forum & Debate 

Location: Lassonde Mining Building, Rm. 128

Time: 5-7pm

Debate and QA between University-Rosedale candidates on the topic of Canadian Identity.

Presented by: UTSU

Vote Pop-Up

Location: Stanford Fleming Pit

Location: University College

Come out and learn how to vote in the upcoming federal election (being held on October 19)

• confirm you are registered with up-to-date information;

• verify your electoral district and polling location;

• find out the ID requirements and ways to vote; and

• practice casting a ballot.

FRIDAY OCT. 2

Vote Pop-Up

Location: Multi-Faith Centre 11-2

Location: Stanford Fleming Pit

Location: University College

Come out and learn how to vote in the upcoming federal election (being held on October 19)

• confirm you are registered with up-to-date information;

• verify your electoral district and polling location;

• find out the ID requirements and ways to vote; and

• practice casting a ballot.

Remember to register to vote at elections.ca/register