When Heritage Retrofit Carpentry student Jen Smith (pictured centre) heard about the widespread damage caused by post-tropical storm Fiona, she knew there was something she could do to help.
With the college closed for damage assessment and clean-up, she reached out to her instructor, Josh Silver, to see what she could do.
Jen and her friends, Mason Babey, who is in the Energy Systems Engineering program, and Jeff Powell, a Primary Care Paramedicine student were on the Prince of Wales Campus ready to work the very next day.
The fence for the Early Learning Centre’s outdoor play space had been damaged and needed repair.
Mason said the project was very rewarding.
“Fixing the fence was a "two birds with one stone" experience. Not only was it a meaningful way to give back, but I also got hands-on experience with a few different power tools I hadn't used before!”
The team started early in the day, assessing the site and clearing debris from the area. Under the guidance of Josh Silver, they diligently measured and cut the boards to repair the fence. Working together, they made quick work of the job.
By mid-afternoon, they had completed most of the structure and were busy finishing the gate. The team even scrubbed the play equipment for the children. Once they were done, the site looked better than ever.
For Jen, the project was a positive way to get involved.
“I am aware that communities are only as strong as the people within them,” says Jen. “That said, I am fortunate enough to know some very strong people - people who seek out ways to improve the communities in which they live for the betterment of all. Together, we were able to give back to a community that has already given us so much, and have fun doing it!”
Staff in the Early Learning Centre appreciated the students’ efforts.
“We’re incredibly grateful to the students for repairing our outdoor infant space so quickly. Our outdoor classroom is a safe place for children to explore their environment and is integral to our early learning program. Their work has an immediate benefit to the children at our centre,” said Rochelle Shepard, Director of the centre.
With the project complete, the team is getting back to their regular studies this week.
“I am looking forward to getting out in the field and sharing learning experiences with my classmates,” said Jen.
Mason has her eyes set on another upcoming project,
“I've honestly never been more excited about a program! Our class will be setting up solar panels on the green outside the CAST Building near the end of October, which I'm really looking forward to.”
For more information, please contact:
Michelle MacNeil, Social Media Officer
Date: October 06, 2022