WRITTEN BY: Xijia (Jessica) Peng, First in the Family Mentee & Jake Chalkey, Mentor-In-Training
As Mentors-In-Training and a Mentee with the First in the Family Peer – Mentor Program at the University of Toronto (St. George Campus), we were given the opportunity to participate in the organization of the annual Trailblazers Conference 2017. The Trailblazers Conference is a tri-campus (St. George, Scarborough, and Mississauga) event geared toward students whose parents did not attend a postsecondary institution (in Canada), also known as students who are first generation. With this year’s theme being EXPLORE, this conference is a way for students to learn more about possible educational and vocational paths, opportunities in community engagement, as well as learning about studying abroad.
As members of the Trailblazers team, we have had the privilege of getting to work with the Scarborough and Mississauga campuses as a tri-campus team. Additionally, being first in our families to attend post-secondary in Canada, this was a fantastic opportunity to get to know other staff and students, who are motivated and enthusiastic in engaging with first gen students. Being on the Trailblazers team is a rewarding experience, where we as students were able to participate in the making of a conference for other students like ourselves.
Seeing the 2017 Trailblazers conference posters around the university is a great sense of pride for us as it reminds us of how the conference grew from a mere hodgepodge of ideas into a coherent plan. Finally, as a team, we look forward with great anticipation to the day of the conference on January 28th, however, it will also be a very sad moment as it will mean an end to our meetings – at least until next year!
Jake Chalkey, Mentor-In-Training
Xijia (Jessica) Peng, Mentee
Trailblazers Conference: EXPLORE Planning Committee
The Trailblazers Conference will be held this year on Saturday, January 28th form 11-4:30pm at Hart House.
If you are interested in registering for this conference or would like further information, please click here.