Celebrating K+S Potash Partnership

DSCN1319The College of Nursing and K+S Potash Canada GP came together this week for a BBQ luncheon to celebrate an exciting new partnership supporting Regina’s Street Culture Project Inc.

K+S Potash will provide $21,000 distributed over three years to help College of Nursing students in Regina provide mentorship and deliver health promotion programming to youth at Street Culture.

Marie Dietrich Leurer, Assistant Professor at the Regina Campus, will lead the project. “As part of the nursing students’ community or mental health clinical placement, they will offer weekly sessions at Street Culture designed to provide social support and skill development,” Dietrich Leurer said. “Sessions will include preparing meals with the youth, followed by a variety of interactive educational and recreational activities. The youth will be involved in the planning of the sessions, creating a unique and dynamic learning environment for both the Street Culture youth and the nursing students.”

“K+S Potash Canada is proud to partner with the U of S and the Street Culture Project, so consistent programming can be offered, which will result in improved health outcomes for vulnerable youth and ultimately, the community of Regina,” said Kim Poley, K+S Potash Canada Vice-President of Human Resources and Corporate Services.

Street Culture is a non-profit, charitable organization that provides support and mentorship to marginalized and under-serviced youth in Regina. Using social entrepreneurialism and positive adult role models, they connect with youth to help change their lives. “We are extremely pleased to receive this sponsorship from K+S Potash Canada, as the anticipated program is well designed and will meet the interests of our youth,” said Street Culture CEO Kim Sutherland. “What is really exciting is the concept of hands-on mentoring between the nursing students and youth. This is exceptional and critical in our efforts around “normalizing” a street youth’s experience in government based housing services.”

College of Nursing students currently completing a placement at Street Culture have indicated this investment provides an opportunity to focus on mental health by forming meaningful relationships with Regina’s at-risk youth, engaging them in activities that facilitate healthy practices and emotional well-being.

Thank you once again K+S Potash for this sponsorship!

Written by : Kylie Kelso
Photo by: The College of Nursing

Donor support helps build future generation of U of S alumni

Jacinta Classen (front and centre) poses with a group of northern students

Jacinta Classen (front and centre) poses with a group of northern students

Students receive certificates at NASA conference

Students receive certificates at NASA conference

U of S students volunteer at NASA conference.

U of S students volunteer at NASA conference.

For Sommer Benjamin, coming to Saskatoon for university has always been in the back of her mind. However, growing up in Dillon, Saskatchewan, a northern community of less than 800 people access to higher education has its restrictions.

But thanks to donor support, on May 6th, 2015, Sommer joined 71 other high school students from northern communities, for a three-day conference in Saskatoon.

Arranged by the Northern Administration Students’ Association (NASA), a university-student run volunteer group, the conference was aimed at highlighting post-secondary education options for students currently ranked at the top of their class.

Hand selected by their teachers for their commitment to their studies and community involvement, these students were given all-expenses-paid opportunities to experience life as a university student in Saskatoon.

Student representatives from across the U of S toured the students around campus and spoke to them about program offerings, career options and demonstrated how the application process works.

For many of these students, the conference marked their first time on a university campus, and for others it was their first time in a city as big as Saskatoon. Attending university away from home is overwhelming for anyone, but for these students who are often isolated by their geography as well as social and cultural differences, it can be even more daunting.

Jacinta Classen, President of NASA knows the struggles and adversity these northern students face, only too well. Raised in Uranium City, she found solace in the NASA community when she arrived in Saskatoon for her first year of university.

“We wanted to communicate the possibilities available to these individuals and empower these youth to challenge their perceptions of post-secondary education, “ Jacinta says.

NASA’s hope was that the conference would also serve as a social outlet for these students, and they scheduled a dance and various outings throughout Saskatoon to encourage the youth to engage with their peers and get their bearings in the city.

“Our hope with this conference is to lessen the culture shock and help these students make informed decisions that could change their lives,” she adds. “I noticed that students were engaged and actively participating in the tours and career fair, which to me feels like a success.”

For students like Sommer, they really took away from the conference what Jacinta and the rest of the committee hoped they would.   Says Sommer, “I really loved this conference. It seemed that everyone at the U of S is really happy to be here and I am excited to come to university.” When asked if she had considered post-secondary prior to attending the conference, Sommer responded, “Yes, but I thought I would go into nursing.” She notes specifically, a newfound interest in geology. “I didn’t realize how much more there is to study here and now I’m starting to change my mind.”

NASA received funding from the President’s Student Experience Fund, as a result of donations made to the One Day for Students campaign, which took place on March 20th.

In just one day of giving, a total of 302 donors contributed $27,696 to this fund, which works directly in support of students.  Combined with an additional donation from Professor Emeritus Kay Nasser and his family, who contributed a total of $30,000 to the campaign, One Day for Students brought in a grand total of $57,696 to help support and enhance the student experience at the U of S.

Thanks to the generous and unwavering support of our campus community, Jacinta and her team were able to put $5000 towards empowering youth like Sommer to see the benefit in post-secondary education and make a difference in their lives.

Written by: Brittany Stevens

All photos by: Brandon White