Are Today’s Youth Unengaged? Not according to SCiP

scipmixersamA few weeks ago, Sam (our resident Serving Communities Internship Program expert) and I got the chance to participate in the SCiP mixer at the University of Alberta, organized by CaPS (Career and Placement Services). Designed as a speed-networking event, the event matched four representatives from nonprofit organizations with 16 prospective interns for what turned out to be a dynamic and fruitful evening.

The evening’s guest speaker was Omar Yaqub, who was also manning a table that night in his capacity as Chair for IFSSA (Islamic Family Social Services Association). His presentation highlighted his varied experience in social innovation in the nonprofit sector and encouraged students to utilize their skills to create their own opportunities.


Also in attendance was Maggie Baird from NextFest, a great festival that offers a lot of opportunities for emerging artists. Sam and I headed up the last two tables. Sam discussing the internships available here at Volunteer Alberta and me answering student questions about the Serving Communities Internship Program. Groups of four students were seated at each table for a period of 20 minutes, after which they moved on to the next table.

As recent graduates ourselves, Sam and I often hear about a lack of youth engagement, in the nonprofit sector and otherwise. We were happy, and not at all surprised, to be met with students who were exceedingly eager to diversify their experience and learn more about the sector. What struck me most was their clear understanding of the required skills, such as flexibility, cooperation, resourcefulness, and their motivation to grow in these aspects. The $1000 bursary awarded to interns is a great incentive, but it was plain to see that these students sought benefit beyond the monetary. Furthermore, they really wanted to do the work.

The SCiP mixer was really SCiP at its best – bright, driven students and accomplished organizations working together for mutual benefit. Thanks to CaPS for hosting a great event – Sam and I are more convinced than ever that the future of SCiP is bright!

Visit the SCiP website for more information, or email Tim with any questions.

Rachel Pereira, Program Administrative Assistant