By 2015, Rachel Gouin was Director of Research and Public Policy at the Boys and Girls Clubs of Canada after dedicating her career to advocating for vulnerable young people. That’s when she decided to apply for the Master of Political Management program.
“After four years, I felt I knew my way around my job,” says Gouin. “My expertise was in the nonprofit world, but I didn’t have a full picture of what happens on Parliament Hill and how to advocate for my sector.”
Gouin pursued her master’s degree part-time while maintaining her position. She completed her job placement within her own organization, and quickly began implementing the knowledge she picked up in the program.
“With the new Liberal government, young people were on the agenda and there was a lot of investment in youth programs,” she recalls. “I started putting my newfound skills to good use and raised approximately seven million dollars for the Boys and Girls Club.”
Gouin credits the experience she gained in MPM for advancing her career: she created a network on the Hill, studied ethics and lobbying rules, learned how to create a communications campaign, about campaigning and polling, and more.
“It helped me think about how nonprofits distinguish themselves,” says Gouin. “What do we stand for? We have to be able to articulate that.”
In 2018, Gouin took over as Executive Director of the Child Welfare League of Canada, a membership organization dedicated to promoting the safety and well-being of young people and their families.
“We bring the people working with youth together to re-examine and improve our practices so that children can grow up in healthy families, connected to their culture, and with a strong sense of purpose in life,” says Gouin. “Our members, and young people themselves, are telling us what needs to change. The next step is to advocate together.”
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