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Diversity Ambassador Reflection: Ivy Duong

Diversity to me is welcoming the differences with a positive attitude. However, it doesn’t stop at being aware or accepting the difference, but actively involved in it and learning from it. Diversity is an important factor to us because when we learn the differences from each other, we eventually become a better version of ourselves and make this whole community a much better place. As an international student studying and soon to be working in Canada – a multicultural country, we were, am and are going to spend most of my time with people from different aspects of life. This journey, I guarantee, will always stay remarkable and the experiences you gained from it will have a significant contribution to your future growth and success.

I strongly believe that each individual is unique and I understand that there will always be challenges and tough times, even on your way of exploring yourself, but keep in mind that you are not alone and we are all in this together. As Diversity Ambassadors, it is our job to assist and support in creating an inclusive and diverse environment for you and welcome you to a new chapter, or simply just a quick stop, in your adventure to the future.

My journey of becoming a Diversity Ambassador at Red River College starts from my passion of being a part of Red River College and helping out other students. I feel connected with all the great work that they have been doing and have always tried to find a way to give back to it. As an international student coming from Vietnam, I have been practicing the collectivistic culture for the past 20+ years, but never have I imagined there will be a day when I take on this leadership role to represent my community, communicate with the seniors and connect with students from all over the world. This is one of the most important major steps that I have taken in my adventure in life so far because for the very first time, I truly stepped out of my comfort zone.

Although the unexpected pandemic hit us hard with literally everything went upside down, we – Diversity Ambassador team managed to overcome it and delivered our best performance thanks to our strong support system Vera Godavari, Norlan Page and Norman Umali. We worked together as a team to prepare for a virtual connection event, took part in virtual Orientation Day, Red River Connect, and successfully hosted plenty of virtual networking events. All these experiences were deemed valuable to me since it exposed me to a completely new environment where my voice was heard and my skills were sharpened. It heated up the enthusiasm in me and made me really question myself about my future goal, now that I know what I want to do: “Which direction should I take to contribute more to not only the college, but the community that I’m living in?”

I truly appreciate this journey I have as I can clearly see myself moving forwards with a wiser and open-minded every time we get together. From my opinion, I can say that this is definitely a good start for someone with an Earth Green/Sunshine Yellow personality. And don’t worry if it is not quite you because the experience will also make a huge impact on sharpening your social skills and help you understand more about yourself, which are all equally important. I have to make a big note to myself that knowing what I dislike is as important as knowing what I like, in terms of determining what I want to do in the future.

Hopefully we can soon make our way back to the college and enjoy all the wonderful events that Red River College offers. I encourage everyone to participate in becoming a Diversity Ambassador at Red River College to enjoy your college life to the fullest (at least to me it is). Wish you all the best.