Tags: Issue 4, June 2021
Humber’s Bachelor of Community Development (BCD) started in 2017, with a small but enthusiastic group of students wanting to make a difference in their communities. The first class of 35 graduating students “walked across” the virtual stage on June 17th. Linda Hill, Program Coordinator, noted about the class:
“This is an amazing group of individuals, with diverse interests in the sector, who are leaving Humber to make their mark on the world. Some are heading to graduate schools and others have already secured jobs in community-based organizations, coordinating programs and undertaking participatory research. As a faculty team, we are looking forward to keeping in touch with graduates and seeing the depth and reach of their work as professional Community Developers. We offer our sincere congratulations to the Class of 2021!”
“I am excited to be part of the first graduating class for the Bachelor of Community Development program at Humber. Prior to joining as a transfer student, I received a diploma in Community Work from George Brown College. I have worked in the field of community work for over five years and have experience supporting Indigenous and homeless populations who face a wide range of systemic barriers. I’m passionate about empowering others and was drawn to this program to learn more about strategies to create change. During my time at Humber, I worked to gain professional experience in the field and further develop my leadership skills. As a mature student this has been a valuable experience, with many new and exciting opportunities.
For my final year capstone project, I took on a leadership role as the team coordinator, where we collaborated with a community partner to create a research project focused on studying equity, diversity and inclusion practices. This was a significant new learning experience and allowed for professional growth during present uncertain and challenging times. Being part of a program where professors and students respect and value each other’s thoughts, allowed space for greater support and helped build a strong sense of community.
This program has helped me secure a post-grad position working in Community Development as a Research Assistant at a non-profit organization, where I will further develop my research and data analysis skills to advance educational interests of Indigenous communities. Education and empowerment are important areas of interest and have been a particular passion of mine.
The knowledge and skills learned in this program will continue to lead me toward a meaningful career where I can advocate for community needs. I believe education gives people the power to create change in the world, and I also plan on attending graduate school to further my education in the future!" – Shawna D’Antimo
“From the moment I read the description, it was an easy decision to apply to the Bachelor of Community Development program. I was already finding my way into the field, doing community-arts based programming in collaboration with different organizations. So, it seemed like the perfect fit for me. Four years later, I am happy to say my assumption was correct.
My time in the program meant that I was able to learn theory, as well as gain practical experience of community work and all that it entails. I also made it a point to be intentional and active in class discussions, which offered me new perspectives and enhanced my interpersonal, communication and conflict resolution skills.
In my second year I learned about the Black Academic Success & Engagement (BASE) program, and used this resource to its fullest advantage. Using what I was learning in class and my interest in gaining practical experience, I pitched my services and program ideas to the BASE. Thankfully, in my third year as a student staff, I got to implement them. One such program that I am really proud of, was a creative writing and performance poetry workshop series - Speak BLAC (Brave Lessons At College), co-created with another community development student and a fellow BASE student staff. Our goal was to help other students gain more confidence in public speaking and build community with like minds. The series culminated in a Black History Month Open Mic & Poetry Slam, in collaboration with the BASE & First Year Experience (FYE).
Other highlights to note during my time in the program were: receiving awards for my commitment to advocating for marginalized communities, leadership, and academic performance; a class project student rally around OSAP cuts; my research on Black Mental Health in post-secondary education - which placed third in the Humber-wide Map the System Competition; and our capstone team research project on effective mentorship for Black students at Humber. I enjoyed the last 4 years in this program - it was memorable and enjoyable. Armed with more knowledge, experience, and networks, I plan to complete an MA in Adult Education and Community Development to further develop myself as a practitioner.” – Igho Diana