Concordia University

2018 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.

Here are this year's winners:

Maya Chammas

Maya Chammas - Concordia Volunteer Award Winner Maya Chammas - Concordia Volunteer Award Winner

Maya has been involved in her community from a young age. She raised money by creating fitness events for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society of Canada. She also volunteered as a Zumba instructor in various schools to encourage children to move.

Maya combined her passion for fundraising, fitness and empowerment to found a not-for-profit organization: Move For A Cure (MFAC). MFAC plans fitness events raising awareness for diseases and funds for organizations actively looking to cure them. Through MFAC, Maya encourages more individuals to volunteer and offers opportunities for students to participate in planning, as well as executing, the organization’s programs. Maya runs the organization, cultivating relationships with partners, chairing Board meetings, and developing new programs targeted to schools and corporations. 

At Concordia, Maya is the President of the Applied Human Sciences Student Association. She created a platform for students to help them find jobs and volunteer opportunities in their field.

Maxime Desharnais

Maxime Desharnais - Concordia Volunteer Award Winner Maxime Desharnais - Concordia Volunteer Award Winner

Maxime has been the President of the Concordia University Chapter of Engineers Without Borders (EWB) since January 2015. He travelled to Ghana, where he worked on rice farming, focusing on environmentally-friendly techniques. Maxime also worked tirelessly to have Concordia on the list of Fairtrade campuses and succeeded. 

In March 2017, he helped host the largest Sustainable Development Goals Youth Training, aiming to inspire sustainable changes. He also paired up a food bank with a supermarket in order to feed those in need.  He is working on designing and building a greenhouse on top of Concordia’s  Grey Nun’s cafeteria and hopes that his initiative will help reduce heat islands while teaching youth about food and farming.

Kelly Lin

Kelly Lin - Concordia Volunteer Award Winner Kelly Lin - Concordia Volunteer Award Winner

Kelly has been a volunteer at the People’s Potato since 2015. Several days a week, she helps with cooking, service and preparation of emergency food baskets. She demonstrates leadership in the kitchen, orienting new volunteers, delegating and explaining tasks to volunteers, and ensuring that hygiene and safety rules are followed.

Kelly has been on the board of directors of People’s Potato for two consecutive terms. She has often been the face of the organization through their outreach work at tabling fairs and other events. In her role as a board member, Kelly demonstrates her commitment to justice, open dialogue and safety for all workers and volunteers. Through her dedication, she contributes to the People’s Potato ability to serve up to 450 meals a day to Concordia students and community members.

Kelly is a long-time volunteer with Burrito Project Montreal.  She also helps at Concordia’s Multi-faith and Spirituality Centre’s Days of Action.

Sarah Morgan

Sarah Morgan - Concordia Volunteer Award Winner Sarah Morgan - Concordia Volunteer Award Winner

Sarah has been helping hundreds of children across Montreal. She took her passion for robotics and created a fun and educational program for kids at the Friendship Circle, a local center for children with special needs.  Sarah also volunteered at The Handicap Society of Quebec where she created a program for pre-school children as well as for older students. As the years progressed, her activities started to incorporate basic engineering concepts and had specific lessons objective. She also started to track how the children’s motor skills improved. She noticed that over time, student’s gross and fine motor skills improved, as well as confidence in their abilities.

Sarah is currently studying Mechanical Engineering at Concordia University, and a member of the CO-OP program. She was elected VP Academic for the Engineering and Computer Science Association. With very little time left on her plate, she still finds her way to run her robotics program, volunteer at the local youth group, and tutor children with disabilities at school.

Anna Calderón

Anna Calderón - Concordia Volunteer Award Winner Anna Calderón - Concordia Volunteer Award Winner

Anna currently serves as the volunteer Executive Director of Say Ça!, a non-profit organization in Montreal that provides refugee and newcomer teens the tools to adapt to their new environment and to become leaders in their communities. With the help of Say Ça!’s staff, she revitalized the organization by adding the instruction of English as a Second Language, activities for personal growth, and obtaining Charity status which will lead to the expansion of the organization outside of Montreal. 

Anna spends her Saturday mornings mentoring students. She spends countless hours promoting the organization. This enabled her to solidify a partnership with Equitas, who funds the development of projects tailored to the students’ interests. 

Fahimeh Soleymani

Fahimeh Soleymani - Concordia Volunteer Award Winner Fahimeh Soleymani - Concordia Volunteer Award Winner

Fahimeh has been deeply involved in her community in the past five years. She has been serving as a member of the board of directors of Montreal Toheed Society. Fahimeh was the first woman to take part in the board, and her outstanding presence and performance encouraged other women to nominate themselves and get elected as well.  

Fahimeh has also been organizing workshops on family law for her community. In collaboration with lawyers, she aims at increasing knowledge of the men and women in the community about their rights and responsibilities within a family, and within society. In addition, Fahimeh has been conducting a platform dedicated to dialogue between people about different social, religious or historical subjects, promoting values like freedom of speech, tolerance and understanding among different ideas and personalities.

She has also been volunteering as a librarian for Nowroozland Library, to promote cultural roots of Farsi-speaking immigrants in Canada. 

Group Volunteer Award :  Nadia D’Arienzo and Josie Frazzetto

Nadia D’Arienzo and Josie Frazzetto - Concordia Volunteer Award Winner Nadia D’Arienzo and Josie Frazzetto - Concordia Volunteer Award Winner

Nadia and Josie are devoted to rescuing feral and abandoned cats found in the greater Montreal area and saving cats from euthanasia.

Nadia traps, transports the cats and does TNR (Trap Neuter Release), while Josie networks, helps them find a rescue or home, raise money for needed veterinary treatments and helps organize the rescue. Together, they support and collaborate with 25 cat rescue agencies.  Working together, they have found rescues and permanent homes for hundreds of cats as well as raised money for sick and injured cats.


Congratulations to all!

If you know a Concordia student, staff or faculty member who goes over and above in helping the community, please let us know so they can be considered for an award next year!

Read more about the criteria and timeline for the Concordia Volunteer Recognition Awards

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