Day of Action 2017 – How Advocacy Changed My Life
Over 60 volunteers joined EWB in Ottawa on May 29-30 for our annual Day of Action! We prepped with a one-day bootcamp and then headed to Parliament Hill, where we had 85 meetings with MPs, policy advisors and staffers. Our recommendations on Canada’s Development Finance Institution was met with lots of interest and support. Keep up with all our behind-the-scenes stories from our community members with this Day of Action blog series.
As a fourth year Political Science student from the University of Windsor, being granted the opportunity to travel alongside representatives from across the country for EWB Canada’s Day of Action in Ottawa was quite an experience. It allowed me to reach outside of my comfort zone in speaking with MPs about EWB Canada’s recommendations for Canada’s Development Finance Institution (DFI).
Getting ready for Day of Action requires a lot of learning, cramming and practicing your pitch. It was surreal and exhilarating to bring to life all that studying the next day as we got to Parliament Hill. I was able to walk the same grounds on which the great leaders of the country have shaped our future. Having meetings with decision-makers had such a transformative effect on me. Hearing their perspectives and backgrounds on issues related to poverty affected me immensely. My father came to Canada when he was 18 years old from the Philippines in order to seek a better life and my mother grew up in the Windsor-Essex area and experienced poverty in a single-parent household.
I am grateful to be able to foster my relationships with fellow EWBers who I consider to be my extended family across the country. I’ve met so many amazing young people since my involvement with EWB from my second year of university as Windsor’s Youth Venture Co-Lead. I completed my Co-Presidency last year and am now working with the Fundraising Distributed Team as an Ontario Representative with National Office and as the Learning Specialist for Windsor.
I love EWB’s key characteristics: investing in ventures, people and ideas. I have been able to emerge from my experience as a confident woman ready to take on the stage of my growth as an engaged citizen and leader on the local and international stage. So when people approach me and ask me how I can fit EWB into my schedule alongside academic work, extracurricular activities, and my part-time job, the answer is simple. I do it because I am surrounded by a nourishing environment where I can tap into multiple perspectives, because volunteering doesn’t feel like volunteering, because I am directly impacting someone else’s life by advocating for what is right and working to provide everyone with the opportunities my parents never had.
Learning Specialist, EWB Windsor Chapter
Ontario Representative, Fundraising Distributive Team, EWB Canada