Three years ago, I came to Canada from Central America. I’ve been studying English as an Additional Language at the Alberta College Campus for two years now and I come to the main campus library almost every day. It’s not easy – especially in the winter – but if I was just at home, I don’t think the language would have come easily. I had to get out of my comfort zone, make friends, volunteer and get experience. That was what was going to lead me to my next step.
When I signed up for the Champions of Diversity and Equity (CODE) program, I wanted to get involved with the university, to learn more about our students and human rights. It was a huge opportunity for me. I got to meet students from different backgrounds and different faculties. I learned about residential schools and about the Canadian justice system, the way to approach police officers, about human rights and how to be an example for others.
After the CODE training, I decided to apply to become a MacEwan Ambassador and these two programs have changed my life. Before, I didn’t look at myself as a leader. I didn’t think I could speak in front of a group of people in English. Now, I see the influence I can have on others and how I can encourage people to improve.
Getting involved – as a volunteer and with student groups – is helping me learn English, make new friends and be a better person.
We acknowledge that the land on which we gather in Treaty Six Territory is the traditional gathering place for many Indigenous people. We honour and respect the history, languages, ceremonies and culture of the First Nations, Métis and Inuit who call this territory home.