Forum links Brock University, Niagara College students with local charities

The potential for Brock University and Niagara College students to lend a helping hand to local charities will be in the spotlight at an upcoming event.

Maximizing Student Engagement will allow executive directors from various area not-for-profit organizations to interact with staff from the two academic institutions, while also showcasing opportunities to engage with students in the fall semester and into the future. The Aug. 16 event is put on by the Executive Directors’ Forum of South Niagara and supported by the United Way of South Niagara.

Participants will learn about working with teams of local students on in-class projects as well as hiring individual students for co-op and experiential placements. The executive directors will have the chance to ask Brock and Niagara College representatives questions to learn about how they can further engage in these opportunities.

“It’s a great networking opportunity to discover what you can do with students in Niagara,” said Brock’s Associate Director of Experiential Education, Sandy Howe.

Until this point, local not-for-profit organizations have been without a one-stop source to access post-secondary students. However, with an increasing focus on co-op and experiential education at both Brock and Niagara College, an event promoting the capabilities of local students to help community organizations has come at an ideal time.

“Finding more ways to involve students in local not-for-profit organizations is a win-win situation for the schools and for the region,” Howe said. “The non-profit sector is able to provide students with valuable work experience and show them some of the many incredible employment opportunities Niagara offers after graduation.”

The forum’s executive directors meet regularly to discuss ways to build trusting working relationships, strategic alliances and collaborative opportunities, while also promoting high-level education, information and resource sharing.

For Howe, these goals and expectations align perfectly with what Brock and Niagara College are trying to do for their students in terms of experiential education.

“We really hope that everyone who comes to the event will discover new and relevant ways to work alongside Brock and Niagara College to deliver life-changing experiences for our students, while simultaneously strengthening their organizations,” she said.

The event will take place Wednesday, Aug. 16 from 8 to 10:30 a.m. at Amici’s Banquet and Conference Centre in Thorold. For more information, contact Tamara Coleman-Lawrie at

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