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2020 Volunteer Award Winners

The LIVE Centre celebrates the selfless efforts of members of the Concordia community who volunteer their time to improve the world around them.

Congratulations to this year's winners!

Brandon Montour

Brandon-Montour

In 2018 Brandon was selected to serve as the Community Project Chairperson of the Garnet Key Society. Brandon organized a number of projects across campus that sought to have a positive impact on the school and the Montreal community, including a benefit concert for the Native Women’s Shelter of Montreal.  In this role, Brandon volunteered at a number of events across campus, such as convocation and official university functions.  In addition, Brandon has volunteered for the Access Centre for Students with Disabilities as a peer note-taker for three semesters. More recently, began participating on the Food Advisory Working Group Committee at Concordia, a committee aimed towards implementing long-term sustainable food goals on campus.

In the summer of 2019, Brandon was appointed by the Mohawk Council of Kahnawake to serve a 3-year term as the Chairperson of the Kahnawake Cannabis Control Board, a regulatory body for the purpose of regulating, enforcing and administering the Kahnawake Cannabis Control Law.  In December 2019, Brandon was selected to serve a 3-year term as a post-secondary student representative on the Kahnawake Shakotia’takehnhas Community Services (KSCS) board of directors, a governing board that oversees KSCS and its mission for a strong collective future for Kahnawake by promoting and supporting a healthy family unit.

As illustrated through Brandon’s past and present volunteer experiences, their commitment to the Concordia, Montreal and Kahnawake community are indicative of an outstanding volunteer who has a clear passion for strengthening and giving back to their community.


Caroline Beauchamp

Caroline-Beauchamp

Caroline has been a dedicated volunteer with the Sexual Assault Resource Centre since 2018 and has given over 400 hours of their time to the Centre. In their role as a SARC volunteer Caroline provides active listening to survivors of sexual violence who are members of the Concordia community. Caroline has also accompanied survivors to external resources such as the police station and designated centres after a sexual assault. Caroline has participated in SARC volunteer training and has been a mentor for new volunteers coming in and has also helped in promoting SARC by representing it at various tabling events on campus. Caroline has raised awareness of sexual violence by promoting the new mandatory training “It Takes All of Us” on campus, and providing one-on-one trainings to fellow students.

Caroline also participated in the Waste Not, Want Not campaign in 2018, where they helped build awareness around waste sorting on campus.  Caroline’s interest in environmental issues also led to volunteering with Navette Nature (NaNa) in summer 2019.  This transportation service takes the general public from Montreal to surrounding national parks.

Caroline’s volunteer experience extends back to their teenage years, when they volunteered in numerous activities.  These include helping at festivals and events for the municipality of Blainville from 2008-2010, with Projects Abroad in Senegal in 2012, teaching reading and writing to young children, and with the World Social Science Forum in 2013.  From 2014 – 2016 Caroline volunteered with the UQAM Listening Centre, which helped consolidate her active listening skills.  Caroline’s generosity, constant dedication and continuous social engagement has had a significant impact on many communities.


Yves Roland

Yves-Roland

Yves is the Alumni Liaison of the Garnet Key Society, where they hosted two coffee house benefits to raise money for the Montreal SPCA and the Montreal Native Women’s Shelter. Yves also spearheaded the creation of a video for high school students to promote education.  Previously, Yves was a monitor with the Corporation De L’espoir, where they organized activities every week for individuals with mental disabilities.  In addition, Yves has volunteered at the Children’s Hospital of Montreal and in the intensive care unit at the Jewish General Hospital. Yves has been a Co-President of the Science College Student Association (SCSA) where their role was to assist with the integration of new Science College students, and also involved organizing various events for the students of Science College. Some of these events were the Science College Gala, BOLD Science, public lectures in association with other student associations and staff, and meet and greets following the public lectures.

Yves also volunteers with Katalis, a Concordia student club dedicated to supporting and educating at-risk youth in Haiti.  Yves teaches sciences to marginalized students. Yves is also a student mentor for newly admitted Biochemistry students.  As a mentor, Yves is dedicated to ensuring that students fully grasp difficult theoretical material, and helps prepare students along a path of academic success. Yves is currently the vice president social of CUBCAPS (Concordia Undergraduate Biochemistry Chemistry and Physics Society), where he organizes various social and academic events for the chemistry, biochemistry, and physics students.

Yves truly shows how much they value giving their time to help and make a difference in the lives of students at Concordia and abroad, and others, through volunteer work.


Benjamin Magidson

Benjamin-Magidson

Ben has volunteered over 400 hours at the Centre for the Arts in Human Development (CAHD) since January 2018.  CAHD is an educational, clinical and research centre that transforms the lives of adults with developmental disabilities through creative arts therapies.  As a volunteer at CAHD Ben has actively engaged with participants, assisted the staff and therapists, promoted inclusion among participants and encouraged social development.  Ben has also helped with recruitment of other volunteers by promoting CAHD to friends and professors.

Ben has made important contributions to CAHD public outreach events, including assisting in several benefit concerts and musical theatre productions.  Ben helped to produce and perform the original live music in the production of  “Nobody’s Perfect” in June 2018.  Ben most recently volunteered at a fundraiser for CAHD “Believe”, where they were the backstage and onstage sighted guide for all of the visually impaired performers.

Outside Concordia, Ben also volunteers with the Shira Choir, a local community choir comprised of adults with developmental disabilities.  Ben has given their time and musical ability to the choir by providing accompaniment on guitar.

Volunteering at CAHD and elsewhere, Ben has displayed a unique set of interpersonal and intrapersonal skills within diverse social environments with various participants.  Ben’s desire for inciting joy and creating a positive energy amongst groups of participants helps in creating a warm, enjoyable and meaningful environment for the participants at the Centre.  Ben’s knowledge and understanding surrounding human care is reflected in their ability to treat each participant’s everyday experience with self-assurance, delicacy, an understanding of the world they live in, and an open perspective of other people’s reality.


Mihaela Ziatanovska

Mihaela began volunteering at the Douglas Mental Health University Institute in 2018 for a 6-month period. Mihaela was paired with a patient and spent time with them on a weekly basis.  In July of 2018, Mihaela began volunteering with the Montreal Art Therapy Center.  They enjoyed the opportunity to work with children and learn the process and benefits of art therapy. Mihaela also wrote blogs about various psychological topics for the Center. Mihaela sought out more opportunities to work with children and art. They volunteered at the West Island Art Hive, holding and participating in art classes with the community.

Currently Mihaela is a volunteer at Tel-Aide Montreal. Tel-Aide is an anonymous and confidential listening service, available to anyone who needs someone to confide in without fear of being judged.  In July 2019, Mihaela completed a 40-hour training in active listening at Tel-Aide. Thus far, Mihaela has dedicated over 70 hours of listening to the organisation, and has recently expressed interest in supporting new candidates through their training process.

In fall of 2019, Mihaela, along with two other students at Concordia, helped create the Mindfulness On The Go club. Mihaela was able to use their volunteering experiences and skills to help the community dearest to their heart, Concordia students. Mihaela saw the opportunity to help build a safe space and a sense of community among students. They made it a point to engage and plan events, such as study groups, to help the members. Through active listening, Mihaela provides an empathetic ear to people in need. Mihaela is present, respectful, and allows a privileged moment in time for people who need to be heard.


Ann Mclaughlin

Ann is the Career Librarian of the Student Success Centre.  Ann’s commitment and dedication to their community through the many initiatives they have been involved in both on and off campus has helped to raise more than $60,000. 

Over the last 20 years, Ann has been an ambassador for the CURE Foundation for Breast Cancer, and helped raise over $45,000 by organizing many fundraising activities on campus.  These efforts have also supported student scholarships. Ann has been a member of the Shuffle Committee for the last four years and in the last two years, her efforts helped raise $5,000 for the Student Success Scholarship, a brand new scholarship which started in 2018. 

Through Ann’s love of books and baking, they have organized between 30-40 book and bake sales over both campuses.  What started as a one-time book sale fundraiser has now turned out to be a regular affair.  Ann has set up shop in their library where anyone can drop-in at any time to donate books or to buy a book for a cause.

Ann has also contributed to two arts and crafts fairs that took place on campus in 2018 and 2019.  In 2013, Ann was the sole organizer of an arts fair at the Loyola Chapel raising $1000 for the Multi-faith and Spirituality Centre. These fairs create and nurture our community by bringing student artists and local Montreal artists together.  In another initiative, Ann sold garden seeds as well as unique art cards made by a Concordia staff – all in support of student scholarships, Centraide or the CURE.

Ann’s values of fundraising for student support and boundless enthusiasm have infused through the whole team in the Success Centre.


Concordia Students’ Nightline

Nightline

Concordia Students’ Nightline is an anonymous, confidential, non-judgemental active listening service run by Concordia students. The service operates during hours when many others are closed, from 6 pm until 3 am on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday nights. Their goal is to provide anyone in the Concordia and wider Montreal communities access to a supportive listening ear during a time when it can feel like no one is listening. Nightline volunteers have undergone 40 hours of rigorous active-listening training in order to provide the best possible service.

Concordia Students’ Nightline believes that anonymity and confidentiality are integral to their service, allowing any student the freedom to call without fear of breaching privacy. The anonymity required of our volunteers means that they cannot publicize their involvement in Nightline; volunteers truly provide this service out of a desire to listen and support.  Anonymity also engenders a close-knit cohort, as volunteers cannot talk to friends and family about calls they receive. The team is incredibly supportive of one another.

The Nightline officially opened to callers in September 2018.  The current cohort of volunteers comprises both those that have been on the line since day one, as well as newer members whose energy has been vital to the continuation of quality service.  In addition to their primary goal of offering supportive listening, volunteers have been actively involved in publicizing this new organization by postering, tabling, and making in-class announcements. They have been involved in recruitment each semester, interviewing and training new volunteers. And they have consistently brought new ideas and talents to the table, pushing the group to provide the highest-quality listening service.

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