Student honoured for her work with autistic children
Fourth-year psychology student Nicole Enser’s work with autistic children and cancer patients has earned her this year’s Queen’s Civic Responsibility Award.
Ms. Enser says she was thrilled to win the honour – which awards $2,500 to a Queen’s student who has made outstanding contributions to help improve the relationship between students and the citizens of Kingston.
“When I first found out, I was really excited about just the award. Then I found out about the $2,500. That’s definitely a bonus,” says Ms. Enser. During her four years at Queen’s, she has balanced school with volunteer duties. Some of her volunteer work includes being the race director of the Autism Partnership’s fundraising run/walk. She also launched an afterschool program called Awesome Possums, a playgroup for children with autism.
“Working with autistic children is the thing that keeps me sane. It keeps me going because it’s the most fun part of my week and it takes the edge off school work. I love working with the kids,” Ms. Enser said.
When she first arrived in Kingston, she became an active member of the AMS Kaleidoscope program, mentoring students at a local elementary school. Over the next three years, she also volunteered at the Quinte Thousand Islands Cancer Lodge, and the Kingston General Hospital’s pediatric and geriatric departments.
Vice-Principal Academic Patrick Deane feels it is important to acknowledge the efforts of Queen’s students who volunteer and try to make Kingston a better place.
“I’m thoroughly impressed with Nicole’s dedication. For four years, she has juggled a busy academic schedule with volunteer work . She understands the importance of giving back to the community and is a worthy recipient of this year’s Civic Responsibility Award,” Dr. Deane says.