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Canadore College's iCanLead Program: Fostering Student Leaders for Sustainable Change

Dec 12, 2023 | Ishmael Van Der Rassel, Student Storyteller

Canadore College's iCanLead Student Leadership Program, established in collaboration with the Canadore Students’ Council in 2021, focuses on nurturing student leaders. It centers on peer-to-peer leadership development, uniting students from diverse backgrounds to empower them as local and regional citizens.

This program emphasizes group discussions where students share their perspectives on defining leadership while exploring ways to assume leadership roles within their communities. Its core areas of focus encompass leadership development, fostering civic responsibility, honing skills, and devising actionable plans.

Recently, iCanLead took on the challenge of initiating projects aligned with the UN Sustainable Development Goals, particularly targeting the goal of achieving net-zero emissions by 2031.

Reflecting on the achievements, Lise Paxton, the iCanLead Program Coordinator, expressed pride in the contributions made by the iCanLead Student Leadership Team toward Canadore College's objective of achieving carbon neutrality by 2031. This accomplishment stemmed from a collaborative effort involving mentorship, Sustainable Canadore, and the Canadore Students' Council, empowering student leaders to devise and implement action plans aligned with the United Nations' Sustainable Development Goals.

The team's projects varied, encompassing initiatives such as bottle recycling, food rescue, waste reduction, educational workshops highlighting Indigenous peoples' connection to water, and the significance of safeguarding water sources.

Paxton further elaborated on the program's focus on various Sustainable Development Goals, including Zero Hunger, Good Health and Well-being, Clean Water and Sanitation, Responsible Consumption and Production, and Climate Action. The iCanLead team actively championed recycling awareness campaigns, campus tree planting, and participation in initiatives like the ImpAct-Campus Living Labs project. Their involvement ranged from conducting forest inventories to implementing diverse initiatives on campus.

Anticipating the fruition of this year's team action plans, Paxton expressed excitement about the potential impact and outcomes that these endeavors will bring.

The iCanLead Program continues to inspire and empower students to become influential leaders and advocates for sustainable change within their communities and beyond.