Every year, the Diversity and Intercultural Services at Red River College opens up three Diversity Ambassador positions to immigrant and international students to share their experiences, promote diversity on campus, provide peer-support and assist Diversity and Intercultural Services to organize events and activities. Kyna Wu, Kanupriya Sidhu and Hasanpreet Singh are concluding a year of amazing work as Diversity Ambassadors and would like to share from their experience throughout the year.
Hi everyone, my name is HUIYU (KYNA) WU and I come from China HeBei. I came to Winnipeg in 26th Dec, 2014 which was a really cold season. First orientation day, I attended LINKS seminar at EDC campus. At that time, I met a diversity ambassador who was also from China. I was really inspired by his talk and fun experience. So, I applied for the diversity ambassador last year and lucky I got picked. Same as every ambassador will do, I joined LINKS seminar as well and shared my first-year college experience to new international students and immigrant students. I felt a lack of confidence at that time because I never spoke in front of so many people by using English. This made me feel embarrassed. I could feel that my face turned red quickly during this period of time. But after I attended several events through diversity department, I felt much better about public speaking. Also, through this 8 months, I met a lot of new people and became friends with some of them now. I am taking hotel and restaurant management at Red River College. My goal is to become more open minded to different cultures and different personalities. In hospitality industry, we are going to deal with people who have different personalities, come from different countries, and speak different languages. Making people feel welcome, equal, and treating them with respect is extremely important. I really appreciate every single moment that diversity ambassador position brought to me. Thankfully our college has this program that I can join in. It brought me a lot of fun as well.
Hello, I’m Kanupriya Sidhu, an international student studying Business Administration at Red River College. I landed here in Winnipeg on the beautiful day of Christmas when this place was covered with the thick blanket of ice. As I was new to this place everything felt different from where I had come (India), the ambience of this place felt cold. As I started going to college, things felt better and I made some amazing friends. With each passing day, I started liking this place more. I felt more homely in Winnipeg as I started understanding people around me. I could now understand what the people of this place thought was right and wrong, their culture, language, and values and I am still in the process of learning it.
When all this was happening around me, what helped me to cope with this change was the warmth of the Diversity and Intercultural Service team. They made me feel that what I was facing was normal and that they were there to support me in every possible way. The friendly and cheerful members of Diversity and Intercultural Services created a protective and positive aura around me. Five months later, I got the chance to be a part of this wonderful team. I chose to be a Diversity Ambassador because I had always wanted to help students like me, who were looking for a home away from home.
As a Diversity Ambassador it was my responsibility to promote diversity on campus, provide peer-support and share my experiences so that students feel that they were not alone. I participated in many activities which helped me develop skills like: leadership, networking, communication, taking initiative, problem-solving, intercultural understanding and time management. Being a Diversity Ambassador is an all-inclusive experience in itself. It was a learning episode along with a lot of fun. I will always be very thankful to the Diversity and Intercultural Services for giving me the opportunity to learn more about the people around me and also for helping me contribute to the community.
So guys. Get comfortable wherever you are sitting. Yup this is Hasanpreet Singh and I am going to tell you about my journey as a Diversity Ambassador. Here I am writing this blog after just finishing with the season 1 of “Thirteen reasons: why” of Netflix originals. Yes the beginning lines are taken from the same series. After watching it, you just get a feeling what loneliness can do to a person. People always need someone else who can help them and they can share their feelings, happiness or sorrows with. Just relieves a lot of stress and burden from their shoulders. This psychology of mankind was what led me to be interested in becoming a diversity ambassador. To be the ‘other person’ whenever someone needs you. I kind of had my own selfish interest too. Even I was new to this place and was looking for a friend I could trust. This opportunity helped me to make a lot of great connections. I got better at my communication skills, problem solving skills and time management skills. After this opportunity I started opening up. Meeting different people all the time helped me to develop different skills and gain an experience worth a lifetime. To have started this journey from an interview and ending it at an appreciation party felt great. Thanks to Gabriela, Lauren, Norlan, Bradley, Kanupriya, Kyna and to all those who were a part of this phase of my life. It is hard to summarize the whole journey in some simple sentences. But one thing I know for sure. It was so awesome.
For more information on the Diversity Ambassadors Program, contact Gabriela Ludusan, Mentorship Program Coordinator at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit https://blogs.rrc.ca/diversity/celebrate/ambassadors/