The following blog post was written by Kelty Christensen, Learner Engagement Officer at the School of Global Access.
Every year, in March, the Intercultural Centre hosts Intercultural Week which is a series of events and workshops offered for everyone on campus. This year’s theme was Broadening the Scope.
A constant at each IC Week event is the involvement of our learners. This year, we invited two of our ICan Crew volunteers to act as IC Week Student Ambassadors. Lloyd Vinz Marcelo from the Justice Studies program and Lucretia Statham from the Health and Human Services program stepped up to the plate. They were involved in the development of an IC week promotional video, and they were responsible for providing the introductions at all of the events. In fact, they ran the show!
I met with Lloyd and Lucretia after IC Week had wrapped up to get their feedback on their experience as IC Week Student Ambassadors.
How did you feel about taking on the role of Ambassadors for IC Week?
Lucretia: I was nervous. I am a very shy person and I didn’t know how to connect with anyone. I told myself to say “yes” to every opportunity that comes my way this year. When you asked me to be part of IC week I thought, I’m going to learn how to build those connections! You don’t know where you can go or how you can grow! Becoming an IC Ambassador was a way of challenging myself.
Lloyd: I was excited. It gave me the chance to express myself through facilitation and being involved in every event of IC week. I felt like I could be dynamic and show it off!
Do you feel like you learned any new skills in preparing to be an Ambassador?
Lucretia: Yes! I realized the more that I practice and prepare, the more confident I feel. I learned voice projection and the importance of what is being communicated non-verbally. I really appreciated the multiple opportunities to practice my speeches with feedback. This experience was so helpful in building my confidence. The repetition of the material, working one-on-one, seeing the video feedback, learning how to deliver information in a confident manner - I can use these skills in other areas of my life. I didn’t know what a difference they could make! I used them in a presentation in one of my classes and everyone thought that I was such a great speaker!
Lloyd: I developed more self-confidence around speaking and articulating my words. I was nervous at first, but we had so much practice that I overcame my shyness. I was camera-shy, at first, and uncomfortable with looking into the camera. I had to, “fake it till I made it!” I decided to put it all out there. Even if I didn’t feel confident inside, I was surprised that I had it in me.
How do you feel your confidence improved?
Lucretia: When I did the land acknowledgment for Tim Fox’s presentation, I was so worried that I would pronounce the Indigenous names wrong. I practiced the pronunciation a lot and when I spoke, I looked around the room and seeing people’s smiles and their nods, acknowledging that I got the words correct made me so proud. I felt that I did the College proud as well!
Lloyd: I felt empowered by being a leader in the IC. The IC has helped me to develop leadership skills through volunteering and participating in the MC in the IC program and the Teach your Talent program. I’ve learned how to be expressive in sharing with others and maybe other learners might be inspired to try new things after seeing me do it.
What would you tell people about your experience with the Intercultural Centre and IC Week?
Lucretia: Becoming involved with the Intercultural Centre has helped me to meet and engage with difference and to become more aware of difference. When you aren’t open to difference it is hard to move around in the world. I didn’t know that I could be involved with the IC. I thought that it was only for international students. Now I know that the IC is open to everyone, and I feel included. It’s a new environment for me to access opportunity.
Lloyd: The IC has helped me to take on roles that I never thought that I would. I have had a lot of fun.
The IC staff would like to extend our thanks to Lucretia and Lloyd for their effort, commitment, and professionalism. They played an important role to make IC Week a great success.
If you missed Lloyd and Lucretia’s IC Week video, please check it out here.
If you are interested in being a future student ambassador for the Intercultural Centre, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org