Bianca Giglio has been volunteering at the Hive Free Lunch program since 2021, a Concordia initiative meant to aid students in accessing free, healthy and easily accessible meals throughout each semester. Described as hard working, reliable and dedicated, she is known for her tireless commitment to the program and her dedication to balancing academic responsibilities with her volunteering efforts. Furthermore, she is admired for her outstanding leadership, proactivity, quick-learning skills and passion for confronting food insecurity within the student body. In addition to her consistent efforts at the Hive Free Lunch program, Bianca has also been a member of the Teresa Dellar Palliative Care Residence since August 2021. In her role as a volunteer meal server, she is often the first person a palliative care patient sees to start their day. Described as a loyal and dedicated volunteer, Bianca volunteers weekly and consistently shows an important level of professionalism, perseverance, and morale.
2022 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!
Rebecca Mersiadis-Lavallee has volunteered with Myra’s Kids Foundation, since April 2020 and has held many roles since then. Originally hoping to get some summer experience in her field, she quickly fell in love with the team and the mission of the foundation. She recognized the importance for the Montreal community and made it her mission to get their name on the map and to expose them to a greater network of people. She began as a social media manager and since August 2020 she has been involved in every aspect of the foundation, helping plan events, finding donors and sponsors, and being the official videographer and photographer during their bereavement camp. In April 2021, she became essential to the success of a fundraiser the organization held, a showcase of Montreal talent, that raised over $10 000 for their bereavement camp. Rebecca helped plan and organize the show, putting together and editing all the singing videos sent in by volunteers, and then producing the event on the livestream which took place on April 8th, 2021. Rebecca has previous volunteer experience at her high school and at Concordia as an ASFA Buddy at Concordia in 2020 to help new students transition into university life, especially during the challenging first semester of online school.
Merveille Moungang Djifo
Merveille Moungang Djifo believes in using our personal narratives, positionalities and intersectionalities as powerful tools to shape and impact the world around us. As a young, black woman with a keen passion for issues pertaining to education, gender violence, women and youth empowerment, social and racial justice, she has chosen the lanes of activism, volunteering, advocacy, and community-building to effect positive change. At Concordia, Merveille has been committed to her work with ACSioN, ASFA and the Black Perspectives Office. She is a member of the Board of Directors for CEED and has worked with the student-led organization Stronger than Stigma in several capacities as volunteer, volunteer coordinator and now VP Sponsorship. In the Montreal community, Merveille has volunteered for the non-profit MADA to help cook meals for Covid-stricken families and vulnerable people during the pandemic and she is a reserve volunteer for the Shriner’s Children Hospital. Merveille is a dynamic, motivated, and resilient person who finds drive and fulfillment in engaging, connecting, and transforming and puts these values at the heart of her multidimensional strive for betterment.
Fabiola Ngamaleu Teumeni
Over the course of her time as a young community leader, Fabiola Ngamaleu Teumeni has proven herself to be a devoted volunteer, a fierce leader, and an intelligent young woman whose main objective, through her work, her studies, and her community engagement, is continuously to find better ways to improve the world around her. In September 2020, she and her co-founder launched a new and innovative project called Black Girls Gather: A Book Club. Their main objective is to empower young Black girls through literature. Fabiola recruited various volunteers to form a committee that would administrate the program on the day to day, supported by the West Island Black Community Association (WIBCA). Thanks to hard work and Fabiola’s commitment to bringing the project to life, Black Girls Gather: A Book Club was an immediate success upon its launch and continues to thrive with the help of its dedicated founders, club and committee members and weekly reading/discussion meetings. A compassionate and hardworking leader, Fabiola continues to commit much of her time to the group, driving initiatives such as the club’s career month wherein members met with Black professionals working in STEM, Psychology, Journalism, Entrepreneurship and more. Moreover, Fabiola recently helped launch the club’s first bookstore and is a key driver behind the club’s social media presence.
Yasmin Peer has worked as a dedicated volunteer for years and in 2020, Yasmin founded a Non-Profit organization, Lives for Literacy, to ensure that children and youth everywhere have the opportunity to acquire literacy skills, in order for them to reach their full potential. Through numerous projects such as the Human Rights Workshop outreach to children in Nepal, the Education is a Human Right series and the L4L National School Bag Project across Canada, Yasmin has demonstrated great leadership skills which have inspired students to take action within their own communities, like she has. With the aim of reducing the effects and impact of an education disruption within the lives of the most marginalized communities of children, Yasmin, together with her team, actively strives to host educational workshops, events and projects that empower youth to thrive in the workforce. As an undergraduate student in her fourth year, majoring in Political Science, and minoring in Religion, Cultures and Human Rights, Yasmin has demonstrated a passion for her community both in and out of school. She has held the role of Director of Social Media for World University Services Canada Concordia. She also volunteered at Concordia Open House, for the Graduate Student Association sessions as well as graduate/undergraduate orientation.
Since May 2021, Silvia Ramirez has been engaged in various impactful volunteering activities, including four projects which focused on communities outside of Concordia and one project focused on Concordia student life. Her main passions include empowering youth through education and supporting/uplifting minority groups. Silvia partook in a six-month remote tutoring program in Colombia offered by a non-profit organization called CMILLAS. The goal was to support 6th and 7th graders of a public school called La Giralda with their learning duties during the uneasy environment of the COVID-19 pandemic. She gave on-call tutorials to two children, helping each of them to improve their grades.She also participated in a six-month program promoting Women Solidarity and Entrepreneurship between Quebec and Colombia. This project was accomplished in partnership with two non-profit organizations, CEED Concordia in Québec and Nuestro Flow in Colombia. Silvia played an essential role in the research project and her cultural background and language skills proved extremely useful for the program, in addition to her positive attitude, calm composure and innovative ideas. Silvia will be taking a seat on the Board of Directors of CEED Concordia, specifically in the Finance Committee. Additionally, this year Silvia has worked towards the goal of teaching financial literacy to high school students in Québec with NPO Enactus Concordia.
Space Concordia Outreach Team
Well known for their initiatives throughout Concordia and beyond, Space Concordia (SC) has been inspiring younger students to pursue careers in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) under the Space Concordia Outreach Program. The goal of the program is to bring together students and educators from different institutions and to give back to the community. It is the volunteers of the Outreach Team who are responsible for coordinating all the volunteering activities undertaken by the society. Each member is encouraged to carry out at least one outreach activity per academic term. With the restrictions of the Covid pandemic, they launched a podcast: SpaceCast to keep promoting STEM education remotely. In addition, in-person and online outreach events have continued to be offered to various age groups. Volunteers have also covered topics such as building science prototypes, science communication, project management, as well as other general STEM subjects that fall outside of SC’s typical mandate. In terms of impact, SC has noticed that the number of outreach partners requesting volunteers has increased, which indicates other educational institutions find value in the initiatives offered by SC and that students and the public are looking forward to learning more about STEM.