Community Outreach

A world of difference: new exhibit showcases local ties to global citizenship efforts

February 1, 2016


Just in time for International Development Week in Canada, Red River College is proud to host a self-guided exhibit showcasing how Manitobans are working to improve the world through their actions at home and abroad.

Global Citizens: Manitobans Working Together for a Better World is on display from Mon. to Fri., Feb. 1-5, in the Roblin Centre Atrium at the Exchange District Campus.

Presented by RRC’s Diversity and Intercultural Services department (in partnership with the Manitoba Council for International Cooperation), the exhibit features photographs, stories and videos showcasing international projects with Manitoba connections.

On Tue., Feb. 2, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., members of RRC’s local Student Refugee Program (SRP) committee will be on hand at the display to discuss their involvement in global citizenships efforts.

Two members of the committee — students Yves Ngendahimana and Emily Regehr (shown above) — recently returned from Ottawa, where they took part in the weekend-long World University Service of Canada (WUSC) International Forum.

“It’s an opportunity for students to come together and talk about international development issues, and how they can promote global citizenship on campus,” says Lauren Konrad, RRC’s Student Integration Coordinator, noting this year’s event featured presentations on such topics as Women’s Economic Empowerment, Youth Employment and Entrepreneurship and Enabling Inclusive Markets. Read More →

Province’s post-secondary institutions sign historic agreement advancing Indigenous education

December 21, 2015

image1Red River College helped make history last week, joining with every post-secondary institution in Manitoba — as well as the Manitoba School Boards Association — in signing the Indigenous Education Blueprint, an unprecedented commitment to advance Indigenous education in the province.

The transformational framework is the result of a new partnership between Manitoba’s public school boards and the post-secondary education sector, now united in their efforts to enhance Indigenous education and reconciliation, and to make Manitoba a global centre of excellence for Indigenous education, research, languages and culture.

The Blueprint takes action on recommendations made by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada, and will translate into success for Indigenous students and their families, thereby enriching the lives of all Manitobans.

“Indigenous youth are one of the fastest growing populations in Canada,” said RRC President Paul Vogt. “They are our future — our future leaders, entrepreneurs and builders — and the next generation of our country. As colleges, we have a responsibility to work with other partners to continue to build upon our diverse range of post-secondary programs that support Indigenous learners on their educational journey.”

Next steps include such action items as establishing a steering committee with all signatories, creating a collaborative website and social media platform, and hosting a conference on Indigenous education.

The partners who met Friday to sign the historic Blueprint include RRC, the University of Manitoba, the University of Winnipeg, Brandon University, Université de Saint-Boniface, Canadian Mennonite University, University College of the North, Manitoba Institute of Trades and Technology, Assiniboine Community College and the Manitoba School Boards Association. Read More →

A season of ‘firsts’ for inaugural arrival under RRC Student Refugee Program

December 16, 2015


Temperatures outside may be dropping, but Yves Ngendahimana — the first Red River College student to enrol as part of the newly-launched Student Refugee Program — is still enjoying the warmth of a Winnipeg welcome.

Ngendahimana, who arrived in Canada from the Dzaleka Refugee Camp in Malawi, joined RRC’s student body through a sponsorship agreement and partnership with World University Services of Canada (WUSC).

After becoming a permanent Canadian resident in Toronto on Aug. 26, he made his way to Winnipeg, where he was greeted at the airport by RRC staff and members of the College’s local Student Refugee Program Committee.

Since then, he’s experienced a number of “firsts” — chief among them, a winter with actual snow — but says he’s feeling comfortably connected to the College community thanks to the efforts of the local SRP Committee, the RRC Students’ Association, and the College’s Campus Living office.

“My experience has been really awesome — there is a good family here,” says Ngendahimana, who’s currently studying Applied Accounting at RRC’s Exchange District Campus. “The College is a really good environment for studying and learning.” Read More →

CreComm student scores scholarship promoting equity among prairie broadcasters

December 10, 2015

BaileyHildebrandMugA Red River College student is the first Manitoba recipient of a broadcasting scholarship that promotes equity in the industry.

Creative Communications student Bailey Hildebrand (shown at left) is one of two recipients of the 2015 Jim Pattison Broadcast Group Prairie Equity Scholarship.

Established in 2009 (but not available outside Alberta until this year), the Equity Scholarship seeks to address a shortage of broadcasters from four under-represented groups: Aboriginal peoples, persons with disabilities, members of visible minorities, and women.

By supporting the career development of individuals from these groups, Pattison believes it can help the broadcasting industry access an untapped pool of potentially talented employees, encourage diverse viewpoints and backgrounds, enhance relationships with local communities, and broaden the advertiser and audience base.

A second-year CreComm student, Hildebrand is already something of an industry veteran, having begun her on-air career while still in high school in Winkler.

In addition to maintaining good grades and honing her self-described “reporter mindset,” she also hosts an iTunes podcast called Be Plus, which deals with body image issues. She says she feels strongly about industry discrimination she’s witnessed — as both an insider and an outsider. Read More →

Hard in the paint: RRC student makes waves in world of dwarf athletics

December 8, 2015


They are two of only 15 people living in Manitoba with achondroplasia — a genetic disorder of bone growth that causes dwarfism.

They share the same initials, “VB” and stand 4-foot-2 and 4-foot-4, respectively. But ask world-class athlete Vivek Bhagria if his lifelong love for sport is inspired by his dad, Vikram, and his deadpan reply brings their comparison to an abrupt halt.

“No,” quips Bhagria, who’s currently studying Business Administration at Red River College. “I got into [sports] myself. He’s too lazy.”

His pop might not share his passion for athletics, but it was his kind words of support, when Bhagria was just four years old, that helped him find the courage to chase his dream.

“I was trying to join a soccer team,” recalls Bhagria of his first experience with organized sport. “Little kids were looking at me. I went crying to my dad. I talked to [him] about it and he said, ‘They’re just kids, they don’t know anything.’”

The message hit home for young Bhagria and the results speak volumes about how it fueled his ambition. From those early days in his St. Vital neighbourhood, he’s gone on to be a provincial champion athlete in high school and a podium regular at the 2013 World Dwarf Games (he won a silver in floor hockey and a bronze in volleyball) and the 2015 National Games, held this past August in St. Louis, Mo., where his medal tally rose to four: silver in basketball and soccer; bronze in volleyball and badminton.

He even rubbed elbows with a celebrity: Zach Roloff from TLC’s Little People, Big World recruited Bhagria to be on his basketball team after seeing his skills on Facebook. Read More →

College’s HR rep appointed to provincial advisory council on immigration, multiculturalism

October 20, 2015

275A human resources coordinator at Red River College is among those working to help newcomers to Manitoba achieve success, as part of a new provincial advisory council supporting government efforts to meet labour market needs.

Suenita Maharaj-Sandhu, Workplace Equity and Diversity Coordinator at RRC, will serve on the new Manitoba Advisory Council on Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism, an amalgamation of the Manitoba Immigration Council and the Manitoba Ethnocultural Advisory and Advocacy Council.

Maharaj-Sandhu is serving on the Council’s Multiculturalism and Citizenship Committee, alongside members of the Winnipeg Police Service, the Manitoba Islamic Association, the Immigrant Centre Manitoba, and the Manitoba Institute of Trades and Technology.

She was recommended to the council through her longstanding work with organizations and individuals pursuing inclusion and diversity, including the RCMP Diversity Committee (of which she’s a member) and related groups such as Manitoba’s Islamic community. The new council members represent a diverse range of provincial sectors, including business, education, labour and social services.

“The Manitoba government is committed to helping newcomers succeed in our province,” Labour and Immigration Minister Erna Braun said in a written release last week.

“This new council will continue the good work of its predecessors by providing timely expertise and feedback to government as we work together to increase immigration to Manitoba to meet labour market needs, and to provide protection and resettlement for refugees, all of whom contribute to both our economy and our increasingly diverse and multicultural communities.” Read More →

RRC student named chair of United Way’s GenNext Council

October 8, 2015

Smoluk 2015Congratulations go out to Red River College student Adam Smoluk, who’s been named the new chair of the United Way of Winnipeg’s GenNext Council.

Smoluk, 35, is completing his Human Resource Management and Management Development studies through RRC’s School of Continuing Education.

As he explains, the GenNext program provides Winnipeg’s future leaders with an opportunity to become engaged in their community, while networking with like-minded individuals who share the same passion for the city. The council brings people together to create meaningful social change by providing tailored involvement opportunities.

“During my time on the council I’ve been proud of the dedication and determination of our GenNext membership,” says Smoluk, who’s served on the council since 2010. “I’m deeply honoured to serve and I’m looking forward to the opportunities ahead.”

Smoluk works as a program Manager for Film Training Manitoba and has served on the ACTRA Manitoba council and as an ACTRA representative on the Manitoba Federation of Labour (MFL)’s Human Rights Committee. He currently serves on the Board of Directors for Youth Employment Services and is the Vice-chair of Essential Skills Manitoba.

An award-winning filmmaker, Smoluk studied on scholarship at the British American Drama Academy at Oxford University. He is the youngest graduate ever of the National Screen Institute’s Features First Program; his past accolades include the Future Leaders of Manitoba award, an Investors Group scholarship for leadership studies at The Banff Centre, and the MFL’s prestigious Al Cerilli Scholarship.

Elder Mae Louise Campbell earns national award for cultural contributions

September 22, 2015

May Louise HeadshotIf ever an award’s name was a match for that of its recipient, it’s the recently announced Indspire Award being presented to Elder Mae Louise Campbell in 2016.

An advocate for traditional teachings (and an Elder in Residence at Red River College for the past 10 years), Campbell is one of 14 outstanding Canadians who’ll be honoured next year by Indspire, the country’s largest non-governmental funder of Indigenous education.

She’s one of two recipients earning awards for Culture, Heritage and Spirituality.

An Ojibway Metis Elder, Campbell has dedicated her life to teaching the values of kindness, humility and love — leading thousands of sharing and healing circles across Canada, and serving as keeper of Winnipeg’s Grandmother Moon Lodge, which provides spiritual healing and growth to women in need.

Earlier this year, she was appointed to the City of Winnipeg’s new Mayor’s Indigenous Advisory Circle, which aims to build bridges between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal communities in Winnipeg.

The highest honour bestowed by (and on) Indigenous people in Canada, the Indspire Awards have for 23 years celebrated the contributions of recipients with the discipline, drive and determination to set high standards and accomplish their goals.

The 2016 awards gala will be held next February in Vancouver.

RRC extends warm welcome to inaugural arrival under new Student Refugee Program

September 3, 2015


One of Red River College’s newest students received a particularly warm welcome after arriving in Winnipeg for a bit of pre-class orientation last week.

To be fair, Yves Ngendahimana has travelled farther than most. The first student to enroll at RRC as part of the College’s new Student Refugee Program, Ngendahimana comes to us all the way from Malawi, Africa, where for nearly 20 years he’s lived in the Dzaleka Refugee Camp.

After touching down in Toronto last Wednesday, Ngendahimana, 22, became a permanent Canadian resident, one who’s now transitioning to his new life as a Winnipegger with help and support from members of the Student Refugee Program’s local committee.

A joint initiative between RRC Student Services, the RRC Students’ Association, and World University Service of Canada (WUSC), the program provides a 12-month scholarship for one sponsored student at RRC each year.

As part of his sponsorship, Ngendahimana will study Applied Accounting at RRC’s Exchange District Campus, while living in a dorm room at the College’s student residence at the Paterson GlobalFoods Institute.

“[Yves] was an avid volunteer back at the camp, working with other students and tutoring them in various business and financial fields,” says Lauren Konrad, Student Integration Coordinator with RRC’s Diversity and Intercultural Services office. “He has a great academic background, and he’s really excited to be in this program.”

Ngendahimana will no doubt rely heavily on the supports and services provided by the College and committee members over the next few months. To that end, the committee is actively recruiting new members from RRC’s staff and student community, in order to further expand campus involvement and awareness. Read More →

Girls Exploring Trades and Technology Camp part of province’s efforts to bolster workforce

July 10, 2015

GETT Camp 2012

Red River College’s Girls Exploring Trades and Technology (GETT) Camp is among nine Building for Tomorrow programs helping Manitoba youth gain skilled trades experience this summer.

Jobs and the Economy Minister Kevin Chief visited RRC’s Notre Dame Campus today to highlight the importance of the GETT Camp and other Building for Tomorrow programs, which provide training and education opportunities to groups that are typically underrepresented in the skilled trades.

“This summer, many young Manitobans will be given the chance to have fun while learning about potential careers in the trades — such as construction and carpentry — or in the technology sector,” said Chief of the camps, which are part of the province’s Gateway to Apprenticeship and Certification Initiative.

“Our government is committed to helping students and their families explore the many paths to rewarding careers right here in Manitoba.”

According to the Buildforce Canada 2015 report, Manitoba needs 11,800 new skilled workers by 2025 in order to sustain economic growth. Initiatives like RRC’s GETT Camp — a one-week program in which girls 12 to 14 learn to build go-karts and gain other technical skills — provide opportunities to get young Manitobans thinking about careers in the skilled trades. Read More →

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