Serving the community is a vital part of Carleton University’s mission, and it’s one that students Stephanie Ellis and Hannah Whale have embraced. From Ellis making meals at a homeless shelter and playing games at a camp for children with autism to Whale supporting students living in residence and mentoring first-year students, their goal is to give back and make a difference.

Stephanie Ellis

Stephanie Ellis

“A big part of it is that I love to learn new things,” explains Ellis, a student in the Interdisciplinary Science and Practice Program.

“I’ve met so many amazing people with incredible stories who have gone through something. Those experiences have changed my perceptions.”

Both Ellis and Whale signed up for Carleton’s Campus to Community Days as first-year students. The half-day sessions enable Carleton students to collaborate with Ottawa partners who need a helping hand.

History student Hannah Whale found that early volunteering had a clear impact, giving her the confidence to pursue additional leadership positions, both on and off campus.

“Things kicked off for me when I became a residence fellow in my second year,” she explains, adding that that opportunity allowed her to connect with like-minded peers and help others.

In her fourth year, Whale expanded her involvement on campus by taking on various roles within student affairs—and at the same time discovering her passion for helping others.

“This is an age where you’re expected to be adults for the first time,” she says.

“It’s a big transition and all those scary life questions are coming at you at once. Being able to help people navigate through that and offer support is my driving force.”  Continued…