Student Voices: Working for Change–Exploring Possibilities in the Non-Profit World

by Cathlin Sullivan*

William Doo Auditorium was abuzz with passion and excitement last Friday October 30th. The annual conference, Working for Change—Exploring Possibilities in the Non-Profit World, took place from 1pm-6pm with excited attendees and panelists alike. Organized by New College, the Career Centre and the CCP, the afternoon was filled with many different ideas and opportunities to learn about working in the non-profit sector.

The afternoon started with keynote speaker Toyin Coker, from Permaculture GTA. They spoke of the possibilities that unfold when you go through life with a positive lens and create the types of communities that you want to live in.

For the morning breakout session I attended Working with the Arts and Social Change. Not only were the panelists inspiring and helpful, but the other attendees were just as inspiring. Together they created an atmosphere of passion and excitement that was palpable. The three panelists came from very different organizations and held very different roles within them. It was great to hear from a variety of professionals, all of whom had knowledge on how to sustain a career working in the arts while still enacting—or at least attempting to enact—social change.

Being someone who has worked in the nonprofit sector in the past, and hoping to continue to do so after graduation, it was refreshing to hear similar frustrations, but it was also incredibly inspiring to hear solutions. All of the panelists that I had the opportunity of interacting with offered plausible solutions to common problems.

One of my favorite moments from the conference though, was at the beginning when we were seated about six to a table. At my table there was a wide variety of students ranging from just starting undergrad to finishing up their PhD. Although there was a small activity that assisted conversation, we were already talking about what we were studying and what we hope to do in the future. It was great to talk to other students who share the same passions.

I would definitely recommend checking out more events and workshops offered through the Career Learning Network.

*First year M.Ed. student at OISE in the Social Justice Education Department


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