Meet Paulo Ferreira, Diversity Ambassador 2018-2019
When I first came to Canada, Red River offered me a great support net and lots of useful resources for me to settle in this new country. When I first heard about the Diversity
Ambassadors program I thought it would be a great opportunity to give some of that help back
to the Red River community.
Canada is well known for its diversity but it’s in places like Red River College that you can really feel and live this exciting multicultural atmosphere. Students and staff from all around the world, with their languages, culture, and values all coexisting in the same place gives you a unique perspective about how big our world really is.
To be an Ambassador of such diversity is rewarding and a great responsibility at the same time. As a Diversity Ambassador, I had the chance to meet interesting people, hear their stories, their aspirations and goals. I made connections that can help me in the future both in my professional and personal lives.
One of the most interesting activities of the program was the opportunity to welcome new international students at the Red River Ready event. For some of those students it was their first official event at the college and for many, their first social experience in Canada at all! Being able to welcome them in the Red River community and show that anybody can succeed was a rewarding feeling.
Another great experience was to give tours for new students, Canadians, and international ones, around the campuses. I’ve learned a lot about how the college works, where to get assistance and how to navigate all the useful resources available. While walking around the campus, I have the pleasure of learning a little bit more, from some of the new students, about their goals and expectations. These stories have a lot in common and are unique in their own way.
While working as a DA I had the opportunity to exercise and enhance some skills that will be of great importance on my future endeavours. Leadership, teamwork, communication, being proactive and respecting diversity are some of the areas that I could improve during this period. They are all part of a successful life and career.
Having the opportunity to work close to the college staff also gave me a different perspective on life on campus. The way they face their daily struggles, the challenge of being responsible for students’ well being, gives you a different view about what it takes to make such a big institution like Red River work seamlessly and almost non-stop.
If there is one program that I would strongly recommend it would be the Diversity
Ambassadors. Few other initiatives will expose you to such a variety of situations and will push you further ahead as an individual. Being able to share your personal experience with people and learning from theirs is truly life-changing. The program will help you develop some of the most important skills that you will need to succeed in life.