Begun as a collaborative initiative in 2007 and occupying a niche created by Volunteer West Island and JAC Professor Barry Reynolds, Community and Communication is a practical course focusing on volunteer work in a community context. A new group of students comes together each term to lend their energy and enthusiasm to local non-profit organizations. Due to growing demand on the part of students and community groups, and with the strong support of JAC Administration, Professor Reynolds has added additional sections to his course over the years, expanding it from one, to two, to three include a wide range of activities in a large number of non-profit community organizations, serving clients across the West Island. Something for everyone!
Professor Reynolds noted, “Thanks to the strong, ongoing support of the JAC Administration, the program has
flourished, each academic year seeing a rise in interest in volunteer work among students. The success of the “missionary” side of this course has been tremendously gratifying – students volunteer for only 12 weeks, but in fact, we see many continue to volunteer long after the course ends, while they’re at university, when they return to their home towns in Quebec, Ontario; our International students even report back that they continue volunteering when they return to their native countries Mexico, China, Germany. So I’m most proud of the fact that JAC and VWI, as partners, are exporting the values of volunteerism, community, and citizenship to other nations”.
Volunteer West Island Youth Coordinator Rachelle Fagen states that the young people involved in “this program that benefits students and community on so many levels are highly motivated and bring many valuable skills to the non-profit organizations in the West Island”. She reports that this semester there are three classes comprising 99 John Abbott students engaged in a multitude of activities in 22 community groups! These include