Mentee Squad

Meet our 2019 Global HERizons recipients and mentees!

STACEY HOUGEN

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Hometown: Round Hill, Alberta
Mentor: Emily
Project: Stacey will receive funding towards her PhD field research into rural communities in Canada, and subject-matter and academic mentorship support.

Stacey is a young professional and current PhD student at the University of Alberta. Born and raised in rural Alberta, Stacey has a passion for rural development, small communities and newcomers. Stacey’s studies and work history have given her a unique set of experiences in rural and global issues. During her undergraduate degree in Political Studies at the University of Alberta, Augustana Campus, and Master of Arts Degree at the Balsillie School of International Affairs at the University of Waterloo, Stacey focused on international relations and feminist theory. After finishing her degrees she worked for the Alberta Centre for Sustainable Rural Communities in Camrose, Alberta on issues of rural development and community capacity. Moving to Ottawa in January 2017, Stacey worked as a Research Awardee at the International Development Research Centre (IDRC) on an independent research project focused on Syrian refugees who had been resettled into rural and smaller communities across Canada. While at IDRC, she visited rural communities across the country and spoke with refugees, community volunteers, service providers and policy experts on their experiences of resettlement and integration in rural places. Stacey is also involved in a local non-profit organization working to help provide services to refugees in her home community of Camrose, Alberta. In 2018, Stacey moved to northern Alberta to work with northern and rural communities through her position as a Research Officer with the Alberta Government. This diverse set of rural and international experiences influenced her decision to return to school in the fall of 2019 to do her PhD in rural refugee resettlement and integration in Canada and the United Kingdom.

CHARLOTTE CONNOLLY

sq-charlotteHometown: Chelsea, Quebec
Mentor: Amy
Project: Charlotte will receive funding towards research and organizing work in Guatemala and Nova Scotia through the Justice Corporate Accountability Project and Sustainable Northern Nova Scotia respectively, both of which focus on the promotion of sustainable and community-driven alternatives to resource extraction. Charlotte will also receive mentorship support towards her efforts to pursue a legal education focused on social and environmental justice.

Charlotte is a recent graduate of the University of Northern British Columbia’s Master of Arts in Natural Resources & Environmental Studies program, where she received the Social Sciences & Humanities Research Council’s Canada Graduate Scholarship to Honour Nelson Mandela. She is passionate about improving access to justice and remedy for communities adversely affected by extractive projects in Canada and abroad, with an approach grounded in North-South solidarity. Charlotte’s passion for activism began at the age of 12, when she started the ‘ABC’ youth group of Chelsea, Quebec which sought to raise awareness about the HIV and AIDS pandemic. Since then, Charlotte has been involved in the planning and implementation of community development projects and advocacy campaigns at the local, national and international levels, including with LetsStopAIDS, Doctors Without Borders, Level: Changing Lives Through Law, the Project for the Study of Alternative Education in South Africa, the Prince George Native Friendship Centre and the Sierra Club Foundation of Canada. Having moved to Truro, Nova Scotia in December 2018 while finishing up her master’s thesis on a Canadian-owned silver mine in Guatemala, Charlotte got involved with struggles locally against gold mining. She hopes to enter law school in September 2020 to pursue a legal career focused on environmental and Indigenous rights.


2018 

Meet our 2018 Global HERizons recipients and mentees!

 ISLAY PURCELL

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Hometown: Estey’s Bridge, New Brunswick
Mentors: Myroslava and Amy
Project: Islay received funding towards her volunteer placement with L’Arche d’Aigrefoin in France. She will also receive support towards setting up a tea shop which will employ people with developmental disabilities.

Islay Purcell is a recent graduate of the University of New Brunswick’s Renaissance College, where she received a Bachelor of Philosophy in Interdisciplinary Leadership. While growing up in Estey’s Bridge, she became heavily involved in the Student Hunger Program with its conception in 2014, which provided her with the opportunity to develop a relationship with the Fredericton Community Kitchen as a volunteer, as well as the Fredericton Downtown Community Health Centre, where she discovered her love for helping those in need and advocating for the members of her community who are often overlooked. As the President of Art Zone, the campus art club, and as the Art Collection Technician at the UNB Art Centre, she fostered her passion for art. In the summer of 2017 she spent three months volunteering at an environmental protection association in the Kingdom of Tonga, where she was introduced to the beauty of living in a communal society and the thrill of being immersed in a different culture and environment. Over the course of six years she has also been involved with Best Buddies, a program through which she developed close friendships with several individuals with disabilities. Currently employed as a Summer Reading Club Activity Leader at the Fredericton Public Library, she looks forward to her upcoming year volunteering at a L’Arche community in France.

SAMANTHA WILSON

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Hometown: Woodstock, New Brunswick
Mentors:  Elly and Jen
Project: Samantha received funding towards her volunteer trip to India with the Women’s Education Project where was involved in counselling women one-on-one. She also receives support towards developing her business, Wise, Well & Free Holistic Services, informed by her experience abroad.

Samantha Wilson is an East Coast girl with an immense love for helping people, nature, and traveling the world. Sam trained at St. Thomas University in New Brunswick, and is now a Registered Social Worker. Samantha currently lives on Grand Manan Island, a rural island in New Brunswick. The majority of her work and research has been with youth, particularly developing self-esteem and wellness programs. In the past year, Samantha has been a research project coordinator for a project that aimed to improve pro-social skills and self-esteem in young teen girls in rural Charlotte County, New Brunswick. Samantha also started up a Teen Centre at her local Boys and Girls Club on Grand Manan, that is now open twenty hours a week. Finally, she was involved in creating several self-esteem and wellness programs for young women. Samantha has a deep desire to help people become their best selves. Although the majority of her work has been rural, she has future plans to apply her work to a global level.

  • Read about Samantha’s motivations and expectations for volunteering abroad in her blog post, Live in the Present
  • Read about the highlights of Samantha’s volunteer abroad trip in India in her blog post, Make your Dream a Reality
  • Read about Samantha’s reflections on her rural background and global experience and her message for other women from rural Canada for building links themselves in her blog post, You are Enough
  • Read about how Samantha’s time abroad motivated her to start a new chapter in her life launching a business in her blog post, The Power of Silence

 

ALISHA VIRMANI

sq-alishaHometown: Hanwell, New Brunswick
Mentors: 
Chris and Sally
Project: Alisha receives mentorship support to explore opportunities to bring some of her experience and expertise to the global stage.

Alisha Virmani is an aspiring dentist and a young humanitarian that was born and raised in Hanwell, New Brunswick. She is a graduate from the Bachelor of Life Sciences program at Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario. Alisha is currently in her third year of dentistry at James Cook University in Cairns, Australia. Alisha is an advocate for anti-bullying and sexual harassment prevention programs. For the past decade, Alisha has volunteered her time with the Canadian Red Cross to promote healthy relationships and safe school environments. Alisha has worked closely with the New Brunswick Ministerial Committee to have a strong influence on revised anti antibullying legislation surrounding the NB Education Act. She has also served as Witness for the Senate Committee on Human Rights to present similar ideas. Alisha has spoken about antibullying at numerous international and national engagements, including the International Summer Course on the Rights of a Child, the Canadian National Human Rights Conference, Canadian Women’s Foundation Conference and the Status of Women Conference. Alisha is a Queen’s University Chancellor Scholar and the 2013 recipient of the New Brunswick Young Humanitarian Award.

  • Follow Alisha on her Instagram blog, @dentistrywithali! She shares what it’s like to be an east coast Canadian girl studying abroad in Australia, a STEMinist/goal digger whose main focus is girl power, and a dentistry student
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