Take the lead, pay it forward

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April 25, 2017
First-year child and youth care and second-year early learning and child care students were tasked with living up to Lakeland College’s “Take the Lead” philosophy in their most recent class project.
First-year child and youth care (CYC) and second-year early learning and child care students were tasked with paying it forward and living up to Lakeland College’s “Take the Lead” philosophy in their most recent class project. 
As part of the HS 202 Leadership Activities course, the class of 44 worked in groups as they created a project proposal, including a mission and vision, conducted research and established an implementation plan.

“This course is a perfect combination of taking something you’re passionate about and melding it into something you can do for someone within your community or within your scope of communities,” says Joanne McDonald, chair of human services. It also helps students develop real-life, hands-on experience such as writing and pitching proposals, as many non-profit organizations are required to do for funding.

From creating newborn packages for the Wainwright General Hospital to providing cleaning services at the Ronald McDonald House in Edmonton, starting an impromptu drama class in Vermilion and making baskets for adolescents with mental health concerns, each group presented their project to a panel of judges in a Dragon’s Den-like setting. Once they had approval from the panel and secured any funding they required – the 13 groups had four weeks to implement their project.

One group of students, including CYC student Alicia McWatters, assembled 50 care packages for youth at CASA Child, Adolescent and Family Mental Health (CASA) in Sherwood Park. Distributed evenly between male and female youth, the bags contained everyday necessities, including contraceptives and feminine hygiene products.

“We banded together because we all wanted to help today’s young adults,” says McWatters. “Sometimes we (as a society) forget about the teenagers, but they are our next generation. We wanted to remind them that they are equally as important and are not left out.”

While at CASA House, students learned about the day-to-day operations and services the foundation provides for 12-18-year-old adolescents with mental health concerns.

The adolescents' stay at CASA House allows the family to separate from the conflict and focus on rebuilding their relationship with their adolescent through individual growth and resolving barriers that impede the relationship. CASA provides assessment and treatment services to approximately 4,000 infants, children and adolescents annually as stated in their recent annual reports.

“The whole experience was a huge eye-opener for all of us,” says McWatters.

Over the course of the project, both McDonald and Kelly Mazerolle, a human services instructor, had the opportunity to see the students grow in different ways. One mark of this growth was highlighted in how the students represented themselves as professionals, and in turn well-represented Lakeland as an organization.

“We have heard from various organizations that they would be more than happy and excited to have a Lakeland practicum student,” says Mazerolle. “The organizations saw the passion, the creativity and the innovation each of the students brings with them.”

“What I found most rewarding was to witness the students transition from a student to a professional,” adds McDonald.

Photo: A group of first-year child and youth care and second-year early learning and child care students visited CASA House as part of their HS 202 Leadership Activities project. The group donated 50 care packages for youth containing everyday necessities, including contraceptives and feminine hygiene products.
What Students Say
With the Student-Managed Farm you learn to be accountable for what you’re doing and the choices you make. You get an understanding of what it’s like to be out in industry or on a farm making decisions that count.

– Anthony Biglieni

Agribusiness Class of 2006

What Alumni Say
Lakeland College has been a integral partner in growing our own through the school of business. As an alumnus of the college, I have first-hand learning experience in the school of business. The professors welcome Servus Credit Union to facilitate classes in the Business Ethics course each year.

– Sandi Unruh

Senior Human Resources Consultant

What Faculty & Staff Say
Vertex has had great experience bringing on students from Lakeland College. We have found the Bachelor of Applied Science (Environmental Management) program to provide students with good academic knowledge of the environmental industry and the criteria that governs the land reclamation

– Sean Fuller B.Sc., P.Ag.

Vice President, Environmental Services, Vertex.

What Alumni Say
There is no way I would be where I am today without Lakeland College. It inspired me to be a better person and to get a job in something I love doing. I am so thankful I had such a great experience at Lakeland and I hope future students do as well.

– Danielle Gaboury

Business studies, Class of 2016.

What Students Say
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2nd year UT student, 2017-18

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– Payton Ramstead

Class of 2016, Interior Design student.

What Alumni Say
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Animal Health Technology, Class of 2016.

What Alumni Say
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– Grayden Kay

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What Alumni Say
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– Carson Reid

Agribusiness, Class of 2016.

What Alumni Say
The instructors were the highlight of my time at Lakeland. It made a huge impact on my college experience to have instructors who challenged, encouraged, and believed in me.

– Jessica Cadrain

Child & Youth Care, Class of 2016.

What Alumni Say
At the beginning of my first year, I was really stressed out as I felt I had no artistic ability. But with the instruction and time put in by the interior design faculty, I was able to develop my artistic abilities. Now I am fully confident in and exceeding well in the artistic side of this career!

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What Alumni Say
I just feel like you get the best education at Lakeland, especially from the time that the instructors can actually spend with you. I like the class sizes too – everything’s been great about my Lakeland experience.

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What Alumni Say
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Agribusiness, class of 2014, former Miss Rodeo Canada.

What Alumni Say
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– Stephen Mark Visser

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What Alumni Say
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What Alumni Say
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What Alumni Say
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University Transfer, Class of 2016.

What Alumni Say
They really put you in the lead at Lakeland. Lakeland cares about its students, empowers them, and gives them opportunities to achieve their goals. I don’t see Lakeland as a stepping stone or a first step – I see it as a bridge and an integral part of my education.

– Alyssa Wells

University Transfer, Class of 2017.

What Alumni Say
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– Sheldon Farrell

Real estate appraisal and assessment, Class of 2017.

What Alumni Say
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– Daphney Couturier

Esthetician, Class of 2017.

What Alumni Say
It’s going to be a lot easier to start our first jobs having this experience and having been able to build our confidence in the campus spa. I love that we get to have this opportunity.

– Darby Watchel

Esthetician, Class of 2017.

What Employers Say
Lakeland is a great place to find employees. The college provides real world training that equips soon-to-be employees with knowledge and people skills that are highly sought after in the agriculture industry these days.

– Dustin Dinwoodie

Key Account Manager – Western Canada Arysta LifeScience