Lakehead University Orillia was awarded the Scholastic Partnership Award by Big Brothers Big Sisters of Canada for their exceptional partnership with the Orillia branch, which involved Lakehead student volunteers in the agency’s school-based programs.
The award was accepted last month in Toronto by Lakehead’s Marian Ryks-Szelekovszky, Vice-Provost, Student Affairs, and Frank Cappadocia, Associate Vice-President, Lakehead Orillia. Also celebrating the award are Karen Shaver, Interim CEO, BBBS Canada (l), James Maxwell, Executive Director, BBBS Orillia; and Marilyn Watson, Chair, BBBS Orillia Board of Directors.
July 27, 2015 – Orillia, ON
A partnership between Lakehead Orillia and Big Brothers Big Sisters (BBBS) of Orillia and District has resulted in the University receiving a national award – the Scholastic Partnership Award – from the BBBS national organization. The Award is a distinction presented annually to one school, school board and one university or college that has made it possible for BBBS agencies to serve increased numbers of children.
Initiated by James Maxwell, Executive Director with the Orillia organization, along with Frank Cappadocia, Associate Vice-President, Lakehead Orillia, the partnership helped to fill a gap in community services, while providing students with professional development opportunities.
“Through our partnership with Lakehead, our agency has been able to double the number of children served through our school-based programs to a total of almost 200 children served during the past year,” explained Maxwell.
A volunteer engagement program was initiated by the two organizations that resulted in over 100 students expressing an interest in opportunities with Big Brothers Big Sisters, with 40% of those becoming actively involved in direct services of the agency.
Student volunteers assisted with the agency’s school-based programs, including In-School and After School Mentoring, Go Girls and Game On group programs. Co-op students from the University’s Social Work program were involved in the development and delivery of the agency’s After-School Mentoring program.
“This support helped us to meet our mandate of providing any child in Orillia who needs a mentor – with one,” said Maxwell. “This is truly making a difference in our community.”
The partnership is also making a difference to Lakehead students.
“Our students get as much, or more, from their experience as the children served,” says Cappadocia. “They are able to see the world from a different perspective and have the opportunity to see a compelling connection between their studies and real life experiences.”
The Scholastic Partnership Award was presented last month at a Celebration of Mentoring Banquet in Toronto. The success of the program has gained the attention of other BBBS agencies and post-secondary schools across the country, which expressed interest in how to develop a partnership to achieve such positive results.
Lakehead and Big Brothers Big Sisters of Orillia plan to continue to build on their combined efforts to support the delivery of quality programming to the children who need it.
“We believe that the benefits to the school children served this year was enhanced by the caring and constructive efforts of some amazing post-secondary students,” said Maxwell. “We should all be so proud that we are making a difference in the lives of so many in our community and equally to those young men and women that call Orillia home during their studies.”
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MEDIA: For more information, please contact:
Kathy Hunt, Communications Officer, Lakehead Orillia – 705-330-4008 ext.2014 or email@example.com.
In 2015, Lakehead University celebrates 50 years of exceptional education. Guided by its Strategic Plan (2013-2018), Lakehead is known for providing an education focused on independent thinking, unconventional scholarship, and a close sense of community. About 9,700 full-time equivalent students and 2,000 faculty and staff learn and work in ten faculties at two campuses in Orillia and Thunder Bay, Ontario. Lakehead University is a fully comprehensive university: home to Ontario’s newest Faculty of Law in 44 years, the Northern Ontario School of Medicine, and faculties of Engineering, Business Administration, Health & Behavioural Sciences, Social Sciences & Humanities, Science & Environmental Studies, Natural Resources Management, Education, and Graduate Studies.
Maclean’s 2015 University Rankings places Lakehead University 2nd in Ontario and among Canada’s Top 10 undergraduate universities, and 1st among Ontario’s undergraduate universities for Total Research Dollars, Social Sciences & Humanities Grants, and Library Expenses. In 2014, Re$earch Infosource ranked Lakehead 2nd in Ontario and 3rd among Canada’s undergraduate universities. Visit www.lakeheadu.ca.