Community Outreach

Carols and cans: Police choir to perform at Roblin Centre food drive this Thursday

November 29, 2016

levee-2014-287In the spirit of the holidays, RRC students and staff are encouraged to bring a canned food item with them while enjoying the Winnipeg Police Service (WPS) Choir as they perform carols at the Roblin Centre Student Food Bank this Thu., Dec. 1. The event will be held in the Roblin Centre atrium from noon to 1:00pm.

Overseen by the Red River College Students’ Association, the food bank allows students to help other students. RRC receives donated food and household items from Winnipeg Harvest and 30 community food banks held throughout the school year. Those goods are stored in a trailer on campus; every two weeks, they’re packaged and distributed to RRC students who have applied for assistance.

“Our Student Food Bank helps feed hundreds of RRC students and their families,” says RRCSA President Adam Taplin. “As students, we often have to decide between a night of studying or an extra shift at work to ensure we get a healthy meal. It’s only through the wonderful generosity of students, staff and the local community that we are able to restock the shelves and continue to provide food hampers year after year.”

This year will mark the first time the WPS Choir has performed at the food drive. When the choir first formed in 1974, it was only supposed to be for one year, in celebration of the City of Winnipeg’s centennial. More than 40 years later, the choir is still going strong, representing a link between the WPS and the community. Every year, the group performs free of charge at over 15 different venues and functions as a community service.

“We’re so excited to bring our group and holiday renditions to Red River College for the first time ever,” says Ron Smolik, Winnipeg Police Service and choir member. “Not only do we get to perform at one of the busiest campuses in downtown Winnipeg, but we get to do it while supporting a great cause.”

Show support for residential school survivors by wearing orange on Sept. 30

September 29, 2016

Orange Shirt Day participantsRed River College invites all students and staff to show their support for residential school survivors by wearing orange on Friday, Sept. 30.

Orange Shirt Day: Every Child Matters provides an opportunity for First Nation, Metis and Inuit communities — along with government and educational partners — to come together in the spirit of reconciliation and hope for generations to come. As organizers point out, it’s only through understanding and acknowledging the impact of residential schools that we can begin combatting the racism and stereotypes that have built up over generations.

Don’t have an orange shirt? Drop by RRC’s Campus Store to pick one up, and join in bringing awareness to this very worthy cause.

To learn more, visit the official Orange Shirt Day website, in particular, Phyllis’ Story, which explains the origin of the event.

For additional information and resources, visit the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada’s site.

Photo credit: orangeshirtday.org

Plane pull at Stevenson Campus helps raise nearly $50,000 for United Way

September 26, 2016

Stevenson Aviation students at the United Way's 2016 Plane Pull

Students and staff from Red River College lent some much-needed muscle to fundraising efforts for United Way Winnipeg last week, helping to land nearly $50,000 for youth mentorship initiatives in the process.

At the United Way’s annual plane pull — hosted Friday at RRC’s Stevenson Campus — the College entered two teams, one made up of Stevenson students (shown above), the other of staff and executive.

The event drew a record 78 teams and almost 2,000 plane-pullers — all of whom did their best to move both a Boeing 727 and a CL-215 water bomber across the tarmac. Together, the teams helped to raise nearly $50,000 — funds that will be used to create more than 100 new mentorship opportunities for local children and youth.

At Friday’s event, 19-year-old Victor Golondrina spoke about his own experiences with a mentor, noting his mother struggled with poverty and mental health issues while raising him and his siblings. He found positive role models through the Boys and Girls Clubs of Winnipeg, and today serves as a mentor to others through his work with West Broadway Youth Outreach.

“They gave me hope,” Golindrina said of his mentors, “and now I am giving it back.”

Learn more about United Way’s commitment to youth mentors, and see a full list of Friday’s fundraising and plane-pull results.

Printed windows: RRC grads’ work featured in urban art installations

August 31, 2016

Isabelle Kilimnik

The eye-catching artwork of two recent Graphic Design grads earned a high-profile reveal last week as part of a new downtown beautification project.

Urban Wallpaper, launched recently by the Downtown Business Improvement Zone (BIZ), aims to transform and enliven vacant windows, storefronts and construction sites using jury-selected designs from local artists.

Jesse Warkentin's window, Urban WallpaperSo far, five downtown locations have been outfitted with urban art, including Donald and Kennedy Street sites featuring works by Isabelle Kilimnik (above) and Jesse Warkentin (work at left), both graduates of RRC’s Advanced Graphic Design program.

Downtown BIZ reps hope the new installations will not only improve the visual landscape downtown, but also combat impressions the district is uninviting or unsafe.

Kilimnik and Warkentin’s work was completed as part of their Visual Exploration class with RRC instructor Ken Stampnick.

Student Refugee Program welcomes second sponsored arrival

August 30, 2016

Wasim Alkabani, Winnipeg International Airport

Repeating a tradition first established last fall, organizers of RRC’s Student Refugee Program (SRP) welcomed a special addition to the College community yesterday.

Members of the program’s Local Committee were joined by RRC executive and staff from Diversity and Intercultural Services, to greet Wasim Alkabani (above), the second student to arrive at the College under a sponsorship with the SRP, an initiative of World University Service of Canada (WUSC).

Now a permanent Canadian resident, Wasim arrived from Lebanon on Monday afternoon. Fluent in both English and Arabic, he’ll begin his Applied Accounting studies at the Exchange District Campus.

Born in Syria and raised mostly in Dubai, Wasim has a Bachelor’s degree in economics from Damascus University. He’s interested in a career in business or finance — just like his SPR predecessor, Yves Ngendahimana (below, at right), who arrived last fall from Malawi as the program’s first sponsored student. Read More →

New SSHRC funding supports social innovation research into the impacts of positive learning environments

June 20, 2016

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New funding for Red River College’s Science of Early Child Development program will help explore the impact of improved language and literacy skills on vulnerable children and their caregivers.

The nearly $234,000 in funding — from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada’s (SSHRC) Community and College Social Innovation Fund — will support new research to understand how changing at-risk children’s education environments can have a positive ripple effect on the adults around them.

The College will use the funds to expand current work studying the Abecedarian Approach, an internationally recognized intervention that creates a play-based, language-focused environment to promote development in at-risk kids from birth to age five.

“We believe an important part of the story is missing where the research focus is solely on child outcomes,” says Janet Jamieson, research chair for RRC’s Health Sciences and Community Services department. “While a child’s world is shaped by their environment and those around them, it should not be ignored that they in turn can have important impacts on those external elements.”

While there are plenty of studies demonstrating the success of the Abecedarian Approach on child development, very little has been documented on the effects had on adult caregivers of children enrolled in the program.

The College’s research is expected to play a meaningful role in informing policy, through insights into how evidence-based interventions with children in impoverished and challenged neighbourhoods could have positive impacts on families and communities. Read More →

Eyes on the future: College unveils new mission, vision and values statements

June 16, 2016

Open Cafe meeting

Classes may be winding down for the summer, but Red River College sits poised to enter a new era of post-secondary excellence, armed with an updated set of initiatives to guide its strategic direction and future growth for the next five years.

Following months of consultations with internal and external stakeholders — including a series of Open Café meetings (shown above) with staff and faculty from all campuses — the College has adopted newly-revised mission, vision and values statements, casting an aspirational eye towards sustainability, service to community, and global recognition.

Redrafted in tandem with RRC’s new Academic and Research Plan and pending five-year Strategic Plan (due this August), the new statements provide a roadmap for the College to follow, and a set of guidelines for all staff as they put policies into practice — both inside and outside the classroom.

“We don’t expect people to memorize them word for word, but hopefully to get to know them and understand what we are as an institution, and where we’re trying to go, so they can be part of the change,” says Cindee Laverge, vice-president, Student Services and Planning at RRC.

“It’s a way for people to help us achieve our strategic direction: through the mission and vision, to understand on a day-to-day basis what’s important to us, and through our values to understand how we work and play.” Read More →

Transforming Futures pilot program prepares students for new career paths

May 16, 2016

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Amanda Wallace, Claire Oswald and Baldeep Dillon (front row, from left to right) are three Red River College students who take their academic careers very seriously.

All three are punctual, motivated self-starters who know how to prioritize in order to meet the demands of their course loads. They’re also immersed in all aspects of student life, from student council and advisory committees to work experience programs.

Claire and Baldeep want to work in the provincial government, while Amanda has her eyes on a career at City Hall. Like many others in RRC’s Transforming Futures program — a pilot project launched in 2014 — all three have blossomed into exemplary students, thanks to the support of their instructors and peers.

A first of its kind program in Manitoba, Transforming Futures helps students with intellectual disabilities and other significant barriers prepare for and deal with the realities of post-secondary life. The first stage of the program allows students to explore career options based on their interests and strengths. Students are introduced to College-level studies, as well as personal management, job searching, interviewing and essential workplace skills.

“During high school your life was basically structured for you,” says Claire. “When you enter college, it’s a lot more independent, a lot more responsibility’s on your head. You’re responsible for you.” Read More →

Urban Circle co-founder to receive honorary RRC diploma

May 13, 2016

ElanoreThompson_VerticalA longtime community leader will be recognized with the College’s highest academic honour for the lasting impact she’s had on the lives of children and families.

Eleanor Thompson, Director of Development at Urban Circle Training Centre, will receive RRC’s 2016 Honorary Diploma in Community Development/Community Economic Development.

As co-founder of Urban Circle, Eleanor has worked tirelessly for nearly 30 years to provide accessible, culturally appropriate education and training to Indigenous people in Winnipeg.

She’s a strong advocate for programs that are grounded in Indigenous culture, and that lead to employment in stable sectors with potential for growth. As such, Urban Circle partners with RRC on certificate programs in heath care, family support and early childhood education — many of which lead to advanced studies in social work and education.

In recent years, Eleanor served as one of the driving forces behind the development of the Makoonsag Intergenerational Centre on Selkirk Avenue, a 52-space early learning facility for the children of Urban Circle students. She’s also a member of the Premier’s Advisory Council on Education, Poverty and Citizenship.

Read More →

RRC students help to highlight election issues important to voters living with disabilities

April 12, 2016

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Red River College students helped shine a light on the challenges faced by those living with disabilities recently, by assisting at the first provincial election debate in decades to focus specifically on disability-related issues.

Students from RRC’s Disability and Community Support program served as volunteers at the Disability Matters Great Debate, helping to ensure as many people as possible were able to gain access to the event, held March 31 at the Norwood Hotel.

The debate was hosted by Disability Matters, a non-partisan public awareness campaign dedicated to ensuring Manitobans with disabilities can participate fully in election activities, promoting priority attention to disability issues in the election, and supporting Manitobans with disabilities in making informed voting decisions.

Candidates from throughout the province took part, including James Beddome (Green Party leader and candidate for Fort Garry-Riverview), Vanessa Hamilton (Liberal candidate for Brandon East), Kerri Irvin-Ross (NDP candidate for Fort Richmond) and Ian Wishart (Conservative candidate for Portage la Prairie).

The debate was moderated by CBC Radio One’s Marcy Markusa (herself an RRC grad), and addressed the five key priorities of the Disability Matters campaign: accessibility, fair wages, access to services, employment, and dignified income.

More than 650 people attended the debate at the Norwood, while another 350 took part at satellite sites throughout the province where the proceedings were streamed online. The debate was a cross-disability event attended by those with physical, intellectual and mental health disabilities, as well as their friends, families and supports. Read More →

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