At the Childhood and Youth Studies program we take pride in keeping in touch with all of our students, including Alumni. Below are some of the past Alumni as they share their experience in the program.
Shobana Ramesh (she/her)
I completed my BA Honours degree in Childhood and Youth Studies with a minor in Disability Studies and Psychology in 2021. This program taught me how to view child development through an interdisciplinary lens and gave me the knowledge and tools required to work alongside children. While at school, I worked as a Daycare Supply Teacher and gained experience working directly with children and applying the knowledge learned in my classes. One of the psychology courses I took in 2018 covered child development. I quickly developed a keen interest in this field as I learned more about how focusing on mental health and psychological development improves learning in the classroom.
This degree gave me a great stepping stone to pursue further research in this field. I will be starting my Master of Teaching degree at the Ontario Institute of Studies in Education at the University of Toronto in September 2022. I aspire to be a teacher and child advocate, particularly for those with disabilities. I am excited about this new adventure and hope to use the knowledge and skills I have gained in my studies for the betterment of child education.
I want to thank the Carleton Childhood and Youth Studies Student’s Association (formerly known as the Carleton Child Studies Society) for allowing me to participate in the VP committee and helping me reach out and connect with the exceptional professors and students at Carleton. I would also like to thank all my professors and TAs for sharing their knowledge and contributing to an enriching learning experience. Finally, I would also like to thank my disability coordinators, who ensured that my accommodations needs were met, so my disability did not hinder me while pursuing my degree.
The Childhood and Youth Studies program here at Carleton offered me an intersectional approach to understanding the socio-cultural contexts of children and youth and their lived experiences. Due to the intersectional nature of the program, I was able to explore my personal interests in research and practice and ultimately work towards being a life-long advocate for marginalized students and the policies that affect them. Further, the connections I made with my peers, my professors, and my students as a TA positively impacted my academic journey and left me filled with memories and experiences I will always carry with me.
After completing my program at Carleton, I went on to pursue my Master of Education at UOttawa specializing in Leadership, Evaluation, Curriculum, and Policy Studies which I will be completing in a couple of months! (Not to worry, I will always be a Raven at heart). My background in the Childhood and Youth Studies program provided me with a strong foundation to further explore my research interests and inspire the direction of my career.
My Child Studies journey has been marvelous. The program brings attention to diversity and inclusion to children and youth. I have never learned about my abilities and myself the way I did in the program in such a short period of time, fostering high self-awareness. The community doubtlessly is one of a kind, where the professors’ spontaneous enthusiasm and real-world examples made every notion relevant and entertaining. The interaction among peers is an essential part of the learning process that enhanced my communication skills. Moreover, the Experiential Learning Activity course allowed me to reflect, connect the theories, and apply the knowledge learned into the work field. Likewise, I found my passion for working with children to assist every child to meet their developmental milestones, particularly in social and emotional development. I am glad I got the opportunity to be part of such an interactive program.
The program led me to different career opportunities that expanded my network within the field. It started from being a supervisor teacher at the Ottawa Catholic School Board to working as a parent worker assistant in the EarlyON Playgroup for a Community Health Centre in Ottawa. Furthermore, I am pursuing my education in the summer of 2021 in the Master of Arts in Counselling Psychology at Yorkville University. I plan to receive my psychotherapist license, to work with disadvantaged children and youth.
I believe that a child is a sponge that absorbs the energy within their surroundings. Therefore, understanding and providing the appropriate nurturing environment will guide young people to overcome their developmental challenges.
I completed my BA in Child Studies with a minor in psychology in 2020, and am incredibly proud to be a Carleton alumni. During my time, I was a research assistant for a SSHRC funded project about how children understand and aesthetically represent LGBTQ+ family, resulting in the published article Aesthetic Expressions of Queer Kinship in Children’s Drawings. I also had a practicum-turned-substitute position at the Sophia house working in the children’s centre with new refugees to Canada, and created a course outline for an independent study on the rights and lived experiences of child refugees in Canada.
Since graduating, I have worked as a recreational therapist and a special needs assistant at an early learning centre.
When I started at Carleton, I was in the BA Undeclared program. Luckily, I knew I was interested in the social sciences, specifically psychology and sociology, because they were courses, I enjoyed in high school (which was great because those were the foundational courses for child studies). During my first semester of university, I began working in the daycare of a gym. When the time came for me to pick a major, the one thing I knew is I had a lot of experience working with kids, and I loved working with kids and thought I may be interested in taking the route of becoming a teacher. So, I took the leap of faith of entering a major I have never taken a course in. I still remember my first child study class like it was yesterday. The prof was very exuberant, and I made friends with my peers right away. Over my years of study, the program helped me better understand children and their development, the history of children through different lenses and cultures. The program is interdisciplinary, which was great because you get a lot of knowledge and theories from multiple disciplines. Overall, the program is full of AMAZING professors that truly care about your name, story, experience, and your success not only in their course but in life in general.
The program led me to conduct research, being a student leader/ambassador on and off-campus, and partner with a professor to help create a course. The program has given me so much knowledge and helped me know that I would like a career in creating a child-centred policy that advocates for children, especially marginalized children.
The Childhood and Youth Studies program was such an incredible and insightful learning experience in such a welcoming and supportive community. I always knew I wanted to work with children which is the main reason why I selected to do my Honours degree in Childhood and Youth Studies. I was able to learn so much throughout my four years in the program as the courses were engaging and truly felt catered to each of our interests and future careers and professions. The program did an amazing job incorporating so many essential courses from child rights, to how a brain develops, to practicum, to being able to study children’s literature and popular culture. I felt so supported throughout my degree as the faculty did an amazing job emphasizing relationships with each of their students and shaping the courses to include our interests. The Childhood and Youth Studies community at Carleton University was incredible as it was filled with so many like minded individuals that helped one another throughout the entire program while making unforgettable memories and learning experiences along the way. I am beyond grateful to have had the opportunity to be a part of the program and would recommend this pathway to anyone who wishes to work with children, youth or families in their future.
After completing my Honours degree in the Childhood and Youth Studies program I went on to pursue my Bachelor of Education. At the end of my time in Childhood and Youth Studies, I realized just how many options there are in terms of careers and professions after completing the program, however, I decided to continue on the pathway of my lifelong goal which is to become an educator. I find that I am continuously drawing on my knowledge learned throughout my undergraduate degree each and everyday and will continue to do so as a teacher. I also continue to be a part of the Childhood and Youth Studies community at Carleton University by helping with research alongside faculty members.