What can be accomplished when knowledge and inquiry, passion and ambition and combined with opportunity?
Well, through the opportunities available at Queen's thanks to donors like you, my classmates and I created and launched Kingston's first successful Walking School Bus!
Program Design and Evaluation, HLTH 415, was one of my favorite classes. After three years of studying theory, 415 allowed me to apply it.
Professor Moore connected our three person group with a local sustainability organization. We assessed their goals and programs using the tools we’d learned in class and identified a need for a sustainable transportation service.
Through our research, we were introduced to the idea of a Walking School Bus – a supervised group of students who walk to school together.
We were excited to realize we had the skills and connections through Queen’s to implement one in Kingston. So we did just that!
The Walking School Bus – fondly referred to as the WSB – was a labour of love. Classroom learning and case studies are valuable, but the WSB gave me first-hand experience in project planning and implementation – including managing challenges and celebrating successes!
We promoted health by fostering an active lifestyle among the participating children and decreasing the school’s carbon footprint with fewer cars dropping students off and picking them up. But for me the most important impact was the one we had on Johnny.
Johnny has severe autism and, when his brother joined the WSB, we encouraged his mother to register Johnny as well. I joined the volunteer leader and walked with Johnny’s group every day. After a few weeks with the WSB, Johnny’s mom told us he was much happier going to school. She was so proud to see him integrating with other kids. When Johnny reached out and took my hand for the first time I got goosebumps. I knew I had made a difference in his life.
Thanks in part to donors like you, Queen’s is more than a school. It is a home, a community, a sanctuary and a place where inspiration and innovation thrive. It’s up to each student to make the most of the opportunities available.
Just as one student can make a difference – whether through research with the Queen’s Cancer Centre or composing an opus alongside a Juno award winning faculty member – one donor can make a difference by ensuring these opportunities are available.
We can’t do it without you. Please add your support to the 2011-12 Queen’s Annual Appeal today .
Yours in thanks,
Angela Nicholson, Health Studies'11