In the world of marketing and branding, it helps to have a strong connection to your subject matter, since much of your job revolves around helping people create emotional ties of their own.
That’s certainly the case with Red River College alum Kyle Romaniuk, who as president of creative agency Cocoon Branding oversaw the recent rebrand of long-running children’s charity The Rainbow Society, now known as The Dream Factory.
Romaniuk, who graduated from RRC’s Graphic Design program in 1996, has been serving on the charity’s board since 2009. But his connection runs much deeper than that.
After being diagnosed with cancer at the age of 12, Romaniuk was on the receiving end of his own dream come true — a chance to swim with dolphins, made possible by The Rainbow Society. He sees his current work with the newly-revamped organization as a way to give back to a particularly worthy cause.
“My whole family was encouraged to participate in my ‘dream’ … so for my parents and my sister, I know it’s one of the highlights of their lives, as well as mine,” says Romaniuk, whose dream took him to the Dolphin Resource Center in the Florida Keys (the same place where TV’s Flipper was trained).
“It was during one of the most difficult times of our lives — while we were all trying to deal with the cancer of a child, which is hard enough on a kid, never mind how hard it would be on a parent. So it was an opportunity we all got to experience together, get our minds off the illness and treatments, and just escape in the dream.” Continue reading
By Matthew TenBruggencate, first-year Creative Communications.
Impressions of Grant Maluga can be deceiving, particularly if your first meeting takes place on a football field. Six feet tall and broadly built, Maluga might come off as an intimidating presence. But nothing could be further from the truth.
“People might look at me and think I’m immature or tough or troubled,” he says. “But on in the inside, I’m soft as a teddy bear.”
Maluga moved to Winnipeg this past autumn to join the Winnipeg Rifles as a defensive lineman while taking Biindigen College Studies at Red River College. Biindigen (Ojibwe for “welcome”) combines introductory college programs with Aboriginal culture, language and history courses. Maluga says he feels at home.
“Everyone in Biindigen is friendly… you get a lot of one-on-one attention there,” he says. “A teacher the other day told me, ‘You’re more of a friend than a student.’”
Some people might be surprised at the momentum in Maluga’s life, considering the hurdles he’s had to overcome. When he was eight, his mother left the family home in Brandon; he hasn’t seen her since. He’s also had to cope with his Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). Continue reading
“One hundred years from now it will not matter what kind of car I drove, what kind of house I lived in, how much I had in my bank nor what my clothes looked like…but the world may be a little better because I was important in the life of a child.” (Forest E. Witcraft).
Loretta Sinclair is important in the life of not only one child, but in the lives of all the children she works with.
After a lot of hard work, determination and vision, Loretta recently graduated from Red River College with her diploma in Early Childhood Education. A mother and grandmother from Little Saskatchewan First Nation, Loretta completed a portion of her studies via distance education and the remainder in St. Laurent as part of a community based-training initiative in that Métis community.
Attending classes in St. Laurent meant driving many kilometres back and forth between home and school. This commitment to her education served as a great role model to other students, and Loretta took it upon herself to support and encourage them to complete their studies, as well.
Loretta now works as the director of the childcare centre in her home community and feels strongly about the movement of First Nations communities to meet provincial licensing standards by 2015. She wants Aboriginal childcare centres and families to have the same benefits, licensing, trained workers, and subsidies for parents as mainstream centres.
It is this vision that led to her decision to immediately begin her post-diploma training in the Studies in Aboriginal Child Care Certificate program, in order to achieve her ECE III — a requirement for directors of licensed centres. Loretta is working on this training via distance education and is encouraging other students in her community to begin their training, as well. Continue reading