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Loyalist poverty challenge is a wrap

By Taylor Broderick [1]

BELLEVILLE – First year students from Loyalist College’s Child and Youth Worker program [2] participated in a poverty challenge [3] on Tuesday.

The idea of the challenge is to create a real world simulation of what it is like to be a person living in poverty so students can understand the issues people living in poverty face everyday.

This is Loyalist’s second year running the activity along with the help of community partners such as United Way of Quinte [4], Community Development Council of Quinte [5], Canadian Mental Health Association [6] and Hastings Housing Resource Centre [7].

Lisa Shunock, the program’s co-ordinator, says the first year students who participated changed their negative views of the poor to much more positive ones by the end of the day.

“Groups in the morning described the poor using words like lazy and worthless and bum, … [changing] to inspired, resilient, and courageous,” she said.

Adam Scriber, a first year student in the program, says from the activity he learned to never judge anyone for being poor.

“You have no idea the lives that are impacted by [poverty] and when you learn their stories it is really inspiring,” he said.

The things Scriber said he will take away from the day are the kind of things Shunock was hoping her students would learn during the activity.

http://www.qnetnews.ca/wp-content/uploads/2014/11/lisa-shunock-audio.mp3 [8]

Shunock wanted the first year students to raise awareness and go out into the field to help others without any judgment.

“Now we have this whole new group of students who are going to work in the field eventually and who can advocate for those who live in poverty and can make a change in our world,” she said.