Achieving a High for Human Service Agencies
April 25, 2022

“I think nobody really expected how well it was going to go and how much money we would raise and how much fun everybody would have,” says second-year Community Social Work student Jessica Perley with excitement. Her project group hosted a Paint Night with a local artist and partnered with A&W in Lac La Biche to have customers round up their purchases in support of the Waskaysoo Food Bank.

More than $4,500 was achieved for various human service agencies through projects organized by students as a part of their Community Development course. “Community Development is to learn to collaborate with agencies that are potential employers for them,” explains Lyla Allan, Program Coordinator for Community Social Work and Fine Arts at Portage College.

One student group fired up a barbecue at Britton’s Independent Grocer and arranged a bake sale in the Voyageur Grill working to support the Lac La Biche Humane Society. Multiple local agencies and businesses donated supplies, time, and resources.

Madison Gawryletz, Maya Howse, and Kaitlynn Bulas
Madison Gawryletz, Maya Howse, and Kaitlynn Bulas raising funds with bake sale. 

Another two student groups gathered bottles to raise funds, separately helping the Lakeland Out of the Elements Shelter and the Terra Centre in Edmonton which provides services including education and free supplies such as formula and diapers to young parents.

Brant Rosychuk, Terry Quinney, Brooke Severyn and Montana Bourque
Brant Rosychuk, Terry Quinney, Brooke Severyn, Montana Bourque and Linda Gervais during the cheque presentation for Lakeland Out of Elements Shelter.

“They are really expensive, all parents know that,” says second year Community Social Work student Ashley Williams about diapers. She is a mother of two and used the services of Terra Centre as a teenager. “I felt really supported and helped in achieving my high school diploma,” describing it as the reason why she is now perusing a diploma in Community Social Work.

In talking about the Community Development project where she helped to identify size four and five diapers as a huge need for clients and engaged with community members to debunk stigma for teen parents, Ashley states “that experience was really great – in terms of using the social work skills that we learn. It’s taking it out of textbook and in a classroom and applying it to real life.”

That application comes with reward. The staff at Terra Centre were so impressed they informed Ashley and her project partner that they can list them as a reference on their resumes and that they will consider them for future employment opportunities.

For more information about the Community Social Work program:

Lindsay Toth | Marketing Specialist

We acknowledge that Portage College’s service region is on the traditional lands of First Nation Peoples, the owners of Treaty 6, 8 and 10, which are also homelands to the Métis people. We honour the history and culture of all people who first lived and gathered in these lands.
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