Why did I become a Diversity Ambassador?
Some time ago I would have thought it rather a bureaucratic task or a formality to add credits to my résumé. What I can tell you today – I’m glad I did it!
Being a Diversity Ambassador (DA) has given me the opportunity to welcome new international and immigrant students, who, like me, have left so much behind to join the College and face all the challenges that come with it. Also, I was able to welcome local students who didn’t feel at home yet.
My message has always been: no matter where we come from or where we are going, we are all in the same community and we want to build a network of friendship and support to reach our dreams.
I became interested in the DA role by participating the Intercultural Mentorship Program. Over a term, an international student is partnered with a local student to participate in a range of activities together so they could learn more about each other’s cultures. The local student often acts as a mentor to their partner, with tips and suggestions on – for example – how to protect yourself from Winnipeg winters or what’s fun (and free) to do in the summer. I was fortunate enough to be paired with Kristie, a friend I still have today.
This role allowed me to establish a professional network of industry and community leaders from a variety of fields. The College’s volunteer opportunities helped me understanding the organization’s structure, how it works, and how important College initiatives, such as the mentorship programs, are for enhancing the student experience (connection, intercultural competencies, leadership and friendship).
The experiences of meeting so many new people, including in my own classroom, made me realize that even with our different world views, our feelings are so similar. During my time at Red River College, I received so much love and care from people that I came to realize that the best part of this new dream was experiencing the real meaning of inclusion and diversity.
Are you interested in becoming a Diversity Ambassador for 2019-20? Apply here.