The AC Hub – now in its second semester in operation – frames itself as a place that students can come to make the connections that are essential to college life and life after college. One way students can make those is through the AC Hub’s various volunteer opportunities and events.
“What we want to instill in students is the passion for giving back,” said Karen Chiarelli. “It doesn’t have to be (a specific) organisation that you support, you just have to find your passion.”
Chiarelli is the co-curricular and volunteerism coordinator for the AC Hub, tasked with engaging students in the volunteer opportunities the Hub has to offer.
The AC Hub has volunteer opportunities with the Ottawa Mission, Canadian Blood Services, the Big Sky Animal Sanctuary and other organizations.
Students are encouraged to look at the Hub’s events calendar to see if there is any volunteer opportunity they are interested in. A quick glance at the student support services event calendar shows a gamers den event on Jan. 30 and an AC Hub talk about the power of LinkedIn Feb. 3.
AC Hub Talks are events in which seminars are delivered by community partners. These community partners are industry leaders, alumni, employers and business experts from outside of the college. The concept is similar in name and content to the popular TED Talks that have featured Bill Clinton, Bono and Al Gore, among many others.
An AC Hub talk by Rob Dyer of Skate4Cancer was the highlight of the Hub’s first semester for Chiarelli. Dyer lost his mother to cancer and raised money by skateboarding across the United States and Canada.
“He was able to demonstrate how one person can make a difference, if you get involved in your community or a cause that is near and dear to your heart,” said Chiarelli.
With a new endeavour like the AC Hub there is a need for marketing to students. Word-of-mouth is what Sophia Bouris – student services marketing and AC Hub coordinator – believes plays a large role in promoting what the Hub has to offer to students.
“If we continue to put on quality programming over quantity,” said Bouris. “I think that would be the best for student awareness, as they talk to their peers about what is happening in this space.”