By John Jonaid, 1st semester Journalism student
Mohawk College empowers students to positively impact their community through the innovative Campus to Community program. With a focus on hands-on, real-life experiences, students can apply what they learn in the classroom to their community. It helps bridge their education through volunteering, participating in fundraising events, and organizing community outreach activities.
In partnership with ten local organizations, including Eva Rothwell Centre and Neighbour to Neighbour Centre, students work to bring meaningful change to their community. Whether it's through providing care for seniors and individuals experiencing struggles with mental health or advocating for the homeless and human rights, these students are making a real difference.
Farrah Arangali, studying Biotechnology (Health) has been volunteering at Campus to Community since May 2022, says, "When I joined the beach clean-up at Confederation Park in May 2022, it created self-awareness that anyone can take part in the effort to make the world a better place to live in by starting to clean the environment."
"As a newcomer myself, I was able to recognize the beauty of nature and discover sightseeing opportunities and the beauty of the Hamilton area through the Happy Trail Hikes,” adds Farrah. “These experiences greatly improved my self-confidence and increased my awareness of different cultures as I got to meet different people."
The Campus to Community initiative has many advantages for those who participate. It not only gives them a chance to give back to their community, but it also gives them significant experience in skills like communication, leadership, and cooperation. Students can network with people and organizations, which is an asset to their resumes and potential future professions.
"The contributions of Mohawk College students not only benefit other students, but also support organizations and non-profits in their efforts to rebuild and enhance the Hamilton community," says Tyler Sinke, Campus to Community Coordinator in the Student Life department.
"When Mohawk College students participate in community initiatives, they provide extra hands, help, and support that enable these organizations to move closer to accomplishing their goals," Tyler adds.
Another significant aspect of this program is that volunteering with Campus to Community contributes to students’ Co-Curricular Record. It means that besides academic achievements, students can showcase their co-curricular involvement, such as volunteer experience that further their personal and community development while in school. The co-curricular record documents any events or activities students engage in beyond their academic curriculum, comprehensively representing their skills and experiences.
The Campus to Community program at Mohawk College offers students the chance to give back to their community while also gaining practical experience in a variety of fields.
This story originally appeared in the print issue of Spring 2023 InTouch magazine.