Alumni Profiles

Aumnii Profiles - Fiona McTaggart, IPS, Class of 2006
 
A lot has happened since I left IPS! After graduating from high school, I moved to Montreal to study English and Creative Writing at Concordia University. While living there, I worked and managed a gourmet doughnut shop, Leché Desserts, where I learned a lot about doughnut production and frying stuff! Since graduating from Concordia, I moved up to Whitehorse, Yukon with my partner Patrick, where we live in a very Yukon-y cabin in the woods.
 
For the last three years I’ve been working at the local women’s centre running a registered program for pregnant mums, and mums with babies up to one year old, called Healthy Moms, Healthy Babies (the Canadian Prenatal Nutrition Program) first as the Support Worker, and now the Program Coordinator! Victoria Faulkner Women’s Centre (the organisation where I work) is an all women-run collective – meaning we have no hierarchical structure – and has been a wonderful experience learning about working and making decisions collectively in a professional environment. (Hint: it works, and it’s amazing!)

More recently, my sister-in-law, Sarah, and I opened a pop-up doughnut shop called Sourdoughnuts (yes, they do have sourdough in them), which has been a huge success, with people lining up down the street to grab our doughnuts! (And seriously, Whitehorse is not very big.)

Also in the last year, I completed my first novel, a Young Adult fantasy book about an 11-year-old girl titled Storm Birds, and have started on the second out of what should hopefully turn into a trilogy. I’m in the process of shopping it around, and hopefully I can one day get it published!

Finally, in very very recent news, I am in the production stage of opening a handmade clothing company, named Mountain Range Vintage Reproduction, which will be selling one-of-a-kind handmade items in a wide range of sizes, all reproducing pieces and styles of the 1950s and 1960s. Check me out on Etsy in the next few months!

  • Alumni Profiles - Brentwood College School

    March 14, 2018

    Brentwood College School is profiling 3 outstanding alumni.  Their experiences after Brentwood have taken all of them in different directions but they all continue to work, speak and engage communiities in a positive way locally and abroad.  Please learn more about their journey's below:

    Read More Author: Body:

    Brentwood College School is profiling 3 outstanding alumni.  Their experiences after Brentwood have taken all of them in different directions but they all continue to work, speak and engage communiities in a positive way locally and abroad.  Please learn more about their journey's below:
     
    Daniel Riley (Graduated in 2004)
    Daniel Riley is a veteran and an athlete. He served as a United States Marine for both the Iraq and Afghanistan conflicts. On December 16, 2010 after stepping on an IED, Daniel sustained injuries resulting in the amputations of both legs above the knee, and part of his left hand. Since then he has been actively involved in sports and recreational therapy. Whether out surfing, biking, or skiing: he is trying to enjoy a life without limits. Living in Washington, DC, Daniel has done speaking engagements to audiences ranging from classrooms to 10-thousand-person amphitheaters. He has been awarded the Purple Heart, Combat Action Ribbon, and Good Conduct Medal. Daniel is currently working for the U.S. House of Representatives and remains involved with a variety of non-profits and advocacy groups.
     
    Sarah Common (Graduated in 2003)
    Sarah is a support worker, beekeeper and gardener in the Downtown Eastside of Vancouver (DTES). With a BSc in Agriculture from UBC, specializing in Land & Food Systems, and Global Resources, she has developed a passion for fostering vibrant and healthy community through empowerment and education and believes in the profound impact of connecting individuals and communities to their land, food and spirit. Sarah has been working and building relationships in the DTES community since 2006. In 2012, she co-founded Hives for Humanity Society, alongside her mother, Julia, in response to a gap she saw in opportunities for connection to nature, to community and to meaningful work for DTES residents. She has coordinated partnerships between a variety of organizations and businesses, developing programming that builds self-worth and community pride.
    Hives for Humanity: http://hivesforhumanity.com
     
    Jaya Murthy (Graduated in 1993)
    After completing Bachelors and Master’s degrees in Communications at Carleton and McGill, respectively, Jaya began an international humanitarian career in 2002 working with a local NGO to promote local language literacy in rural, deprived communities of Ghana. In 2003, with an International NGO, Jaya prepared the persecution claims of at-risk Liberian and Sierra Leonean refugees from various countries of asylum across West Africa for resettlement to the USA.

    From 2004-06, with the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Jaya was responsible for repatriating Rwandan and Burundian refugees who fled the aftermath of the 1994 Rwandan genocide and 1990s Burundian civil war, respectively, back to their home countries.

    As part of the roll-out of UN-led humanitarian reforms, in 2006-07 Jaya co-lead the Protection Cluster in South Kivu province, eastern DRC, with UNHCR, to develop measures that would better protect vulnerable civilians from predatory armed groups. Jaya then went on to service as UNICEF’s Spokesperson in eastern DRC (2007-09), publicly advocating for international support for Congolese children in acute need during multiple conflict-driven internal displacement crises. Based in Baghdad from 2009-13, Jaya then served as UNICEF Iraq’s Chief of Communication where he advocated with the Government of Iraq and other key stakeholders to focus their investments on the most marginalized children across Iraq, as well as mobilized support for an influx of Syrian refugee children into northern Iraq. In late 2011, Jaya served as UNICEF’s acting Chief of Communication in Somalia where he managed UNICEF’s communications during the 2011 Somalia famine.

    Jaya has been serving as the Chief of Communication and Strategic Partnerships for UNICEF in Uganda since October 2013, where he is galvanizing stakeholders from Government, the private sector, media, civil society and faith-based organizations to increase investments in Uganda’s most deprived children.

    He is currently executing a communication strategy to mobilize support that will enhance UNICEF’s response to the more than 2,000 South Sudanese refugees who are arriving in Uganda every day.

    In 2012, Jaya was a recipient of the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee medal which was awarded to honour significant contributions and achievements by Canadians.
     
    Pictures (left picture, Daniel Riley; middle picture, Sarah Common; right picture, Jaya Murthy)
     

    Category: Alumni Profiles Content Image (field_content_image:delta): 0 Date: Wednesday, March 14, 2018 Feature Image:
  • Alumni Profiles - Brentwood College School

    March 14, 2018

    Brentwood College School is profiling 3 outstanding alumni.  Their experiences after Brentwood have taken all of them in different directions but they all continue to work, speak and engage communiities in a positive way locally and abroad.  Please learn more about their journey's below:

    Read More Author: Body:

    Brentwood College School is profiling 3 outstanding alumni.  Their experiences after Brentwood have taken all of them in different directions but they all continue to work, speak and engage communiities in a positive way locally and abroad.  Please learn more about their journey's below:
     
    Daniel Riley (Graduated in 2004)
    Daniel Riley is a veteran and an athlete. He served as a United States Marine for both the Iraq and Afghanistan conflicts. On December 16, 2010 after stepping on an IED, Daniel sustained injuries resulting in the amputations of both legs above the knee, and part of his left hand. Since then he has been actively involved in sports and recreational therapy. Whether out surfing, biking, or skiing: he is trying to enjoy a life without limits. Living in Washington, DC, Daniel has done speaking engagements to audiences ranging from classrooms to 10-thousand-person amphitheaters. He has been awarded the Purple Heart, Combat Action Ribbon, and Good Conduct Medal. Daniel is currently working for the U.S. House of Representatives and remains involved with a variety of non-profits and advocacy groups.
     
    Sarah Common (Graduated in 2003)
    Sarah is a support worker, beekeeper and gardener in the Downtown Eastside of Vancouver (DTES). With a BSc in Agriculture from UBC, specializing in Land & Food Systems, and Global Resources, she has developed a passion for fostering vibrant and healthy community through empowerment and education and believes in the profound impact of connecting individuals and communities to their land, food and spirit. Sarah has been working and building relationships in the DTES community since 2006. In 2012, she co-founded Hives for Humanity Society, alongside her mother, Julia, in response to a gap she saw in opportunities for connection to nature, to community and to meaningful work for DTES residents. She has coordinated partnerships between a variety of organizations and businesses, developing programming that builds self-worth and community pride.
    Hives for Humanity: http://hivesforhumanity.com
     
    Jaya Murthy (Graduated in 1993)
    After completing Bachelors and Master’s degrees in Communications at Carleton and McGill, respectively, Jaya began an international humanitarian career in 2002 working with a local NGO to promote local language literacy in rural, deprived communities of Ghana. In 2003, with an International NGO, Jaya prepared the persecution claims of at-risk Liberian and Sierra Leonean refugees from various countries of asylum across West Africa for resettlement to the USA.

    From 2004-06, with the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Jaya was responsible for repatriating Rwandan and Burundian refugees who fled the aftermath of the 1994 Rwandan genocide and 1990s Burundian civil war, respectively, back to their home countries.

    As part of the roll-out of UN-led humanitarian reforms, in 2006-07 Jaya co-lead the Protection Cluster in South Kivu province, eastern DRC, with UNHCR, to develop measures that would better protect vulnerable civilians from predatory armed groups. Jaya then went on to service as UNICEF’s Spokesperson in eastern DRC (2007-09), publicly advocating for international support for Congolese children in acute need during multiple conflict-driven internal displacement crises. Based in Baghdad from 2009-13, Jaya then served as UNICEF Iraq’s Chief of Communication where he advocated with the Government of Iraq and other key stakeholders to focus their investments on the most marginalized children across Iraq, as well as mobilized support for an influx of Syrian refugee children into northern Iraq. In late 2011, Jaya served as UNICEF’s acting Chief of Communication in Somalia where he managed UNICEF’s communications during the 2011 Somalia famine.

    Jaya has been serving as the Chief of Communication and Strategic Partnerships for UNICEF in Uganda since October 2013, where he is galvanizing stakeholders from Government, the private sector, media, civil society and faith-based organizations to increase investments in Uganda’s most deprived children.

    He is currently executing a communication strategy to mobilize support that will enhance UNICEF’s response to the more than 2,000 South Sudanese refugees who are arriving in Uganda every day.

    In 2012, Jaya was a recipient of the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee medal which was awarded to honour significant contributions and achievements by Canadians.
     
    Pictures (left picture, Daniel Riley; middle picture, Sarah Common; right picture, Jaya Murthy)
     

    Category: Alumni Profiles Content Image (field_content_image:delta): 1 Date: Wednesday, March 14, 2018 Feature Image:
  • Alumni Profiles - Brentwood College School

    March 14, 2018

    Brentwood College School is profiling 3 outstanding alumni.  Their experiences after Brentwood have taken all of them in different directions but they all continue to work, speak and engage communiities in a positive way locally and abroad.  Please learn more about their journey's below:

    Read More Author: Body:

    Brentwood College School is profiling 3 outstanding alumni.  Their experiences after Brentwood have taken all of them in different directions but they all continue to work, speak and engage communiities in a positive way locally and abroad.  Please learn more about their journey's below:
     
    Daniel Riley (Graduated in 2004)
    Daniel Riley is a veteran and an athlete. He served as a United States Marine for both the Iraq and Afghanistan conflicts. On December 16, 2010 after stepping on an IED, Daniel sustained injuries resulting in the amputations of both legs above the knee, and part of his left hand. Since then he has been actively involved in sports and recreational therapy. Whether out surfing, biking, or skiing: he is trying to enjoy a life without limits. Living in Washington, DC, Daniel has done speaking engagements to audiences ranging from classrooms to 10-thousand-person amphitheaters. He has been awarded the Purple Heart, Combat Action Ribbon, and Good Conduct Medal. Daniel is currently working for the U.S. House of Representatives and remains involved with a variety of non-profits and advocacy groups.
     
    Sarah Common (Graduated in 2003)
    Sarah is a support worker, beekeeper and gardener in the Downtown Eastside of Vancouver (DTES). With a BSc in Agriculture from UBC, specializing in Land & Food Systems, and Global Resources, she has developed a passion for fostering vibrant and healthy community through empowerment and education and believes in the profound impact of connecting individuals and communities to their land, food and spirit. Sarah has been working and building relationships in the DTES community since 2006. In 2012, she co-founded Hives for Humanity Society, alongside her mother, Julia, in response to a gap she saw in opportunities for connection to nature, to community and to meaningful work for DTES residents. She has coordinated partnerships between a variety of organizations and businesses, developing programming that builds self-worth and community pride.
    Hives for Humanity: http://hivesforhumanity.com
     
    Jaya Murthy (Graduated in 1993)
    After completing Bachelors and Master’s degrees in Communications at Carleton and McGill, respectively, Jaya began an international humanitarian career in 2002 working with a local NGO to promote local language literacy in rural, deprived communities of Ghana. In 2003, with an International NGO, Jaya prepared the persecution claims of at-risk Liberian and Sierra Leonean refugees from various countries of asylum across West Africa for resettlement to the USA.

    From 2004-06, with the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Jaya was responsible for repatriating Rwandan and Burundian refugees who fled the aftermath of the 1994 Rwandan genocide and 1990s Burundian civil war, respectively, back to their home countries.

    As part of the roll-out of UN-led humanitarian reforms, in 2006-07 Jaya co-lead the Protection Cluster in South Kivu province, eastern DRC, with UNHCR, to develop measures that would better protect vulnerable civilians from predatory armed groups. Jaya then went on to service as UNICEF’s Spokesperson in eastern DRC (2007-09), publicly advocating for international support for Congolese children in acute need during multiple conflict-driven internal displacement crises. Based in Baghdad from 2009-13, Jaya then served as UNICEF Iraq’s Chief of Communication where he advocated with the Government of Iraq and other key stakeholders to focus their investments on the most marginalized children across Iraq, as well as mobilized support for an influx of Syrian refugee children into northern Iraq. In late 2011, Jaya served as UNICEF’s acting Chief of Communication in Somalia where he managed UNICEF’s communications during the 2011 Somalia famine.

    Jaya has been serving as the Chief of Communication and Strategic Partnerships for UNICEF in Uganda since October 2013, where he is galvanizing stakeholders from Government, the private sector, media, civil society and faith-based organizations to increase investments in Uganda’s most deprived children.

    He is currently executing a communication strategy to mobilize support that will enhance UNICEF’s response to the more than 2,000 South Sudanese refugees who are arriving in Uganda every day.

    In 2012, Jaya was a recipient of the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee medal which was awarded to honour significant contributions and achievements by Canadians.
     
    Pictures (left picture, Daniel Riley; middle picture, Sarah Common; right picture, Jaya Murthy)
     

    Category: Alumni Profiles Content Image (field_content_image:delta): 2 Date: Wednesday, March 14, 2018 Feature Image:
  • Alumni Profiles - Southpointe Academy

    March 5, 2018

    As a young school, Southpointe Academy's alumni are just beginning to make an impact.  The two following alumni for Southpointe Academy are being highlighted for their extensive work in both Mental Health and Wellness.  Please learn more about their journey's below:    

    Read More Author: Body:

    As a young school, Southpointe Academy's alumni are just beginning to make an impact.  The two following alumni for Southpointe Academy are being highlighted for their extensive work in both Mental Health and Wellness.  Please learn more about their journey's below:
     
     
    Taryn Jessop (Class of 2015)
     
    Taryn talks about her struggles with mental health and her work in Mental Health and Wellness.

    Ever since I was a child, I have struggled with my own mental health, but I never really knew what was going on until I found out about others going through similar things. Once I knew that I was not alone, I pledged to myself to learn more so I could not only help myself but also understand what others were going through. Then, I realized that the more I learned, the more I wanted to learn and promote mental health awareness, so that I could help others and my community. Now, the more I facilitate events and speak out with my own story, the more I see the positive impact I am having on my community. And I love it.

    From an early age, Southpointe taught me the discipline of keeping a tight schedule. At Southpointe, and in the senior school especially, I put a lot of time and effort into my studies in order to give myself the best possible start at university. During this time, I was able to practice keeping an intense focus on meeting deadlines while also maintaining a creative flare in my work. In addition, speaking and working with Mrs. Downie, the Senior School counselor at the time, and other students that were also passionate about mental health helped me realize the importance of working together to promote wellness. Southpointe gave me a strong foundation to grow upon.

    Now, I am a third year student at the UBC Sauder School of Business, specializing in Business Technology Management (BTM), and Organizational Behaviour and Human Resources (OBHR). I’m involved in mental health initiatives both on and off campus.

    On campus, I am the Vice-President Mental Wellness for Sauder Health and Wellness, which is a Commerce Undergraduate Society service. In this position, I am an advocate and ambassador for mental wellness for all Sauder students; I facilitate different events and mental health initiatives put on by the Health and Wellness service, as well as collaborate with representatives from other UBC bodies that are also working toward offering more mental health initiatives on campus, such as the Wellness Centre and the Undergraduate Office in the Sauder building.

    In addition to this, I am involved in two other organizations that are not part of UBC: the Youth Mental Health Association (YMHA), and Safelight Conferences. YMHA is a by youth, for youth, non-profit organization that aims to destigmatize mental health by empowering youth to become innovative leaders within the mental health sector. We host many different events and programs that tackle different issues within the mental health community. I have been a part of YMHA for the past year and a half, and I have taken on many roles within the organization: Marketing Director, Business Strategy Consultant, Hiring Coordinator, and External Relations Committee Chair.

    Safelight Conferences is an organization that hosts an annual conference for all ages and backgrounds that aims to unite all of the topics within mental health to make the voices of advocates stronger. I am the Vice-President and the Co-Founder of the organization, and we are currently hiring and planning for next year’s conference. At both organizations, we are always looking for more people to get involved!

    Please see below links to initiatives Taryn is currently involved in:
    YMHA: www.ymha.org    https://www.facebook.com/youthmha/
    Safelight: www.safelightconferences.com  https://www.facebook.com/safelightconferences/

     

     
    Amrita Sunner (Class of 2015)
     
    Amrita talks about her extensive work with mental health and wellness.
     
    I’ve always been motivated to help others and be involved in something I care about so much. Mental health affects everyone in one way or another and it’s my goal to spread awareness to as many people as I can so that everyone can find the right resources and learn how to help those struggling with mental illness. I was in Grade 11 when I realized I want to work in the mental health field and use my knowledge and experience to help others as best as I can. Southpointe allowed me to find what I am passionate about. If it hadn’t been for Mrs. Downie I wouldn’t have been able to pursue this avenue. She not only helped me promote mental health within the school, she got the Peer Listening program initiated as well as the Diversity Club. Southpointe allowed me to be a part of these groups and gave me a sense of what mental health awareness in a community looks like. I’m thankful for that.

    I am now in my third year at UBC studying Psychology. I work with Safewalk on campus and I am also currently volunteering at the Canadian Mental Health Association doing data entry for their “Living Life to the Fullest” program. It’s a cognitive behavioral therapy based program open for anyone in communities all over Canada. I will also soon have an article published on mental health in one of CMHA’s mental health magazines called Visions. After graduating from Southpointe, I was a part of the Youth Mental Health Association in Vancouver where Sarah Vaugh-Jones (Class of 2015) and I were “Mental Health Network Leaders”. Through the initiative we got a chance to meet with high school students from all over the lower mainland on a monthly basis to brainstorm how to promote mental health in our respective communities.

     
     
    Meghan Mackenzie (Class of 2017)
     
    As a student, Meghan Mackenzie, Class of 2017,  was recognized as a difference maker in 2015.  To learn more click on the link below:
    http://theprovince.com/sports/high-school/difference-makers-2015-southpointes-meaghan-mackenzie-stands-up-for-her-world
     
    Pictures (left picture, Taryn Jessop; middle picture, Amrita Sunner; right picture, Meghan Mackenzie)
     

    Category: Alumni Profiles Content Image (field_content_image:delta): 0 Date: Monday, March 5, 2018 Feature Image:
  • Alumni Profiles - Southpointe Academy

    March 5, 2018

    As a young school, Southpointe Academy's alumni are just beginning to make an impact.  The two following alumni for Southpointe Academy are being highlighted for their extensive work in both Mental Health and Wellness.  Please learn more about their journey's below:    

    Read More Author: Body:

    As a young school, Southpointe Academy's alumni are just beginning to make an impact.  The two following alumni for Southpointe Academy are being highlighted for their extensive work in both Mental Health and Wellness.  Please learn more about their journey's below:
     
     
    Taryn Jessop (Class of 2015)
     
    Taryn talks about her struggles with mental health and her work in Mental Health and Wellness.

    Ever since I was a child, I have struggled with my own mental health, but I never really knew what was going on until I found out about others going through similar things. Once I knew that I was not alone, I pledged to myself to learn more so I could not only help myself but also understand what others were going through. Then, I realized that the more I learned, the more I wanted to learn and promote mental health awareness, so that I could help others and my community. Now, the more I facilitate events and speak out with my own story, the more I see the positive impact I am having on my community. And I love it.

    From an early age, Southpointe taught me the discipline of keeping a tight schedule. At Southpointe, and in the senior school especially, I put a lot of time and effort into my studies in order to give myself the best possible start at university. During this time, I was able to practice keeping an intense focus on meeting deadlines while also maintaining a creative flare in my work. In addition, speaking and working with Mrs. Downie, the Senior School counselor at the time, and other students that were also passionate about mental health helped me realize the importance of working together to promote wellness. Southpointe gave me a strong foundation to grow upon.

    Now, I am a third year student at the UBC Sauder School of Business, specializing in Business Technology Management (BTM), and Organizational Behaviour and Human Resources (OBHR). I’m involved in mental health initiatives both on and off campus.

    On campus, I am the Vice-President Mental Wellness for Sauder Health and Wellness, which is a Commerce Undergraduate Society service. In this position, I am an advocate and ambassador for mental wellness for all Sauder students; I facilitate different events and mental health initiatives put on by the Health and Wellness service, as well as collaborate with representatives from other UBC bodies that are also working toward offering more mental health initiatives on campus, such as the Wellness Centre and the Undergraduate Office in the Sauder building.

    In addition to this, I am involved in two other organizations that are not part of UBC: the Youth Mental Health Association (YMHA), and Safelight Conferences. YMHA is a by youth, for youth, non-profit organization that aims to destigmatize mental health by empowering youth to become innovative leaders within the mental health sector. We host many different events and programs that tackle different issues within the mental health community. I have been a part of YMHA for the past year and a half, and I have taken on many roles within the organization: Marketing Director, Business Strategy Consultant, Hiring Coordinator, and External Relations Committee Chair.

    Safelight Conferences is an organization that hosts an annual conference for all ages and backgrounds that aims to unite all of the topics within mental health to make the voices of advocates stronger. I am the Vice-President and the Co-Founder of the organization, and we are currently hiring and planning for next year’s conference. At both organizations, we are always looking for more people to get involved!

    Please see below links to initiatives Taryn is currently involved in:
    YMHA: www.ymha.org    https://www.facebook.com/youthmha/
    Safelight: www.safelightconferences.com  https://www.facebook.com/safelightconferences/

     

     
    Amrita Sunner (Class of 2015)
     
    Amrita talks about her extensive work with mental health and wellness.
     
    I’ve always been motivated to help others and be involved in something I care about so much. Mental health affects everyone in one way or another and it’s my goal to spread awareness to as many people as I can so that everyone can find the right resources and learn how to help those struggling with mental illness. I was in Grade 11 when I realized I want to work in the mental health field and use my knowledge and experience to help others as best as I can. Southpointe allowed me to find what I am passionate about. If it hadn’t been for Mrs. Downie I wouldn’t have been able to pursue this avenue. She not only helped me promote mental health within the school, she got the Peer Listening program initiated as well as the Diversity Club. Southpointe allowed me to be a part of these groups and gave me a sense of what mental health awareness in a community looks like. I’m thankful for that.

    I am now in my third year at UBC studying Psychology. I work with Safewalk on campus and I am also currently volunteering at the Canadian Mental Health Association doing data entry for their “Living Life to the Fullest” program. It’s a cognitive behavioral therapy based program open for anyone in communities all over Canada. I will also soon have an article published on mental health in one of CMHA’s mental health magazines called Visions. After graduating from Southpointe, I was a part of the Youth Mental Health Association in Vancouver where Sarah Vaugh-Jones (Class of 2015) and I were “Mental Health Network Leaders”. Through the initiative we got a chance to meet with high school students from all over the lower mainland on a monthly basis to brainstorm how to promote mental health in our respective communities.

     
     
    Meghan Mackenzie (Class of 2017)
     
    As a student, Meghan Mackenzie, Class of 2017,  was recognized as a difference maker in 2015.  To learn more click on the link below:
    http://theprovince.com/sports/high-school/difference-makers-2015-southpointes-meaghan-mackenzie-stands-up-for-her-world
     
    Pictures (left picture, Taryn Jessop; middle picture, Amrita Sunner; right picture, Meghan Mackenzie)
     

    Category: Alumni Profiles Content Image (field_content_image:delta): 1 Date: Monday, March 5, 2018 Feature Image:
  • Alumni Profiles - Southpointe Academy

    March 5, 2018

    As a young school, Southpointe Academy's alumni are just beginning to make an impact.  The two following alumni for Southpointe Academy are being highlighted for their extensive work in both Mental Health and Wellness.  Please learn more about their journey's below:    

    Read More Author: Body:

    As a young school, Southpointe Academy's alumni are just beginning to make an impact.  The two following alumni for Southpointe Academy are being highlighted for their extensive work in both Mental Health and Wellness.  Please learn more about their journey's below:
     
     
    Taryn Jessop (Class of 2015)
     
    Taryn talks about her struggles with mental health and her work in Mental Health and Wellness.

    Ever since I was a child, I have struggled with my own mental health, but I never really knew what was going on until I found out about others going through similar things. Once I knew that I was not alone, I pledged to myself to learn more so I could not only help myself but also understand what others were going through. Then, I realized that the more I learned, the more I wanted to learn and promote mental health awareness, so that I could help others and my community. Now, the more I facilitate events and speak out with my own story, the more I see the positive impact I am having on my community. And I love it.

    From an early age, Southpointe taught me the discipline of keeping a tight schedule. At Southpointe, and in the senior school especially, I put a lot of time and effort into my studies in order to give myself the best possible start at university. During this time, I was able to practice keeping an intense focus on meeting deadlines while also maintaining a creative flare in my work. In addition, speaking and working with Mrs. Downie, the Senior School counselor at the time, and other students that were also passionate about mental health helped me realize the importance of working together to promote wellness. Southpointe gave me a strong foundation to grow upon.

    Now, I am a third year student at the UBC Sauder School of Business, specializing in Business Technology Management (BTM), and Organizational Behaviour and Human Resources (OBHR). I’m involved in mental health initiatives both on and off campus.

    On campus, I am the Vice-President Mental Wellness for Sauder Health and Wellness, which is a Commerce Undergraduate Society service. In this position, I am an advocate and ambassador for mental wellness for all Sauder students; I facilitate different events and mental health initiatives put on by the Health and Wellness service, as well as collaborate with representatives from other UBC bodies that are also working toward offering more mental health initiatives on campus, such as the Wellness Centre and the Undergraduate Office in the Sauder building.

    In addition to this, I am involved in two other organizations that are not part of UBC: the Youth Mental Health Association (YMHA), and Safelight Conferences. YMHA is a by youth, for youth, non-profit organization that aims to destigmatize mental health by empowering youth to become innovative leaders within the mental health sector. We host many different events and programs that tackle different issues within the mental health community. I have been a part of YMHA for the past year and a half, and I have taken on many roles within the organization: Marketing Director, Business Strategy Consultant, Hiring Coordinator, and External Relations Committee Chair.

    Safelight Conferences is an organization that hosts an annual conference for all ages and backgrounds that aims to unite all of the topics within mental health to make the voices of advocates stronger. I am the Vice-President and the Co-Founder of the organization, and we are currently hiring and planning for next year’s conference. At both organizations, we are always looking for more people to get involved!

    Please see below links to initiatives Taryn is currently involved in:
    YMHA: www.ymha.org    https://www.facebook.com/youthmha/
    Safelight: www.safelightconferences.com  https://www.facebook.com/safelightconferences/

     

     
    Amrita Sunner (Class of 2015)
     
    Amrita talks about her extensive work with mental health and wellness.
     
    I’ve always been motivated to help others and be involved in something I care about so much. Mental health affects everyone in one way or another and it’s my goal to spread awareness to as many people as I can so that everyone can find the right resources and learn how to help those struggling with mental illness. I was in Grade 11 when I realized I want to work in the mental health field and use my knowledge and experience to help others as best as I can. Southpointe allowed me to find what I am passionate about. If it hadn’t been for Mrs. Downie I wouldn’t have been able to pursue this avenue. She not only helped me promote mental health within the school, she got the Peer Listening program initiated as well as the Diversity Club. Southpointe allowed me to be a part of these groups and gave me a sense of what mental health awareness in a community looks like. I’m thankful for that.

    I am now in my third year at UBC studying Psychology. I work with Safewalk on campus and I am also currently volunteering at the Canadian Mental Health Association doing data entry for their “Living Life to the Fullest” program. It’s a cognitive behavioral therapy based program open for anyone in communities all over Canada. I will also soon have an article published on mental health in one of CMHA’s mental health magazines called Visions. After graduating from Southpointe, I was a part of the Youth Mental Health Association in Vancouver where Sarah Vaugh-Jones (Class of 2015) and I were “Mental Health Network Leaders”. Through the initiative we got a chance to meet with high school students from all over the lower mainland on a monthly basis to brainstorm how to promote mental health in our respective communities.

     
     
    Meghan Mackenzie (Class of 2017)
     
    As a student, Meghan Mackenzie, Class of 2017,  was recognized as a difference maker in 2015.  To learn more click on the link below:
    http://theprovince.com/sports/high-school/difference-makers-2015-southpointes-meaghan-mackenzie-stands-up-for-her-world
     
    Pictures (left picture, Taryn Jessop; middle picture, Amrita Sunner; right picture, Meghan Mackenzie)
     

    Category: Alumni Profiles Content Image (field_content_image:delta): 2 Date: Monday, March 5, 2018 Feature Image: