Lunch & Learn Sessions Wrap Up with “What’s Next?” Day

June 17th, 2014

On Wednesday, May 28th, Youville Centre students enjoyed their last lunch & learn event of the year. A component of our mentorship program, each lunch & learn has offered our students a chance to connect with community members and inspiring guest speakers, and this event was no different. This final lunch & learn was unique in that we extended it beyond the lunch hour, to allow volunteers from local businesses, post-secondary institutions and government workplaces to offer practical workshops to our students. Named “What’s Next?” Day, the theme of equipping our students for the future extended throughout each workshop and special presentation.

While our students enjoyed a delicious lunch, they were fortunate to listen to the wise, inspirational and entertaining words of our very special friend and keynote speaker, Shannon Gorman of TELUS. Shannon brought her son Ryan and her granddaughter Ava along, and she gave a unique presentation highlighting the “job description” of a single mother. She reminded our young moms that with this job description, “although no health or dental insurance, no pension, no tuition reimbursement, no paid holidays and no stock options are included…the job supplies limitless opportunities for personal growth, unconditional love, and free hugs and kisses for life!” Shannon brought her presentation to a close with a powerful quote from none other than her son, Ryan, a new parent himself, who said: “I have no idea how you ever did this alone — you’re amazing”.

Family-3 Shannon Gorman (right) with her son Ryan and her granddaughter Ava. 

After lunch, the students made their way to one of two sessions they had signed up to attend. We were fortunate to host Barb from HRSDC who offered an important workshop about saving for their children through RESPs; Karen and Cathy from Algonquin College who provided valuable information to the students about their transition to post-secondary education; and a group of employees from Coradix, a technology consulting firm here in Ottawa, who provided a hands-on resume and interview workshop for our students.

Whats Next Volunteers

Thank you to all of our volunteers (pictured here) who helped make this day a success!

Each of the sessions provided practical  advice for our young mothers to help them in the next phase of their lives. Particularly for our graduates, the information provided was invaluable!

We would like to thank the mentorship program task force, and each of the special guest speakers and presenters who contributed to this very special “What’s Next?” Day.

Stay tuned to the blog, as we hope to launch our one-to-one mentorship pilot program in the fall!