Staff Spotlight - Lee-Anne Lavell

Lee-Anne hails from Halifax, Nova Scotia. During her academic studies at Dalhousie University, majoring in English and History, Lee-Anne worked part time at a senior’s home. This heartwarming experience sparked Lee-Anne’s interest in advocacy work, an interest that eventually guided her towards St. Thomas University, NB, where she pursed a Bachelor’s degree in Social Work. Throughout her studies at STU, Lee-Anne thought increasingly about international development, working in multicultural environments or doing some sort of internationally related work. This personal interest morphed into various international opportunities, including a volunteer opportunity with Canada World Youth working at a clinic in Honduras, teaching English in a rural town in South Korea, and finally the International Youth Internship Program (IYIP), coordinated by ACIC and hosted by the Red Cross, working on maternal and child health initiatives in Nicaragua. These amazing opportunities showed Lee-Anne that her initial international interests had flourished into passionate career development.

After completing the Canadian component of the IYIP internship at the Red Cross in Dartmouth looking at health services for refugee women in the province, Lee-Anne was offered a position with Red Cross in Ottawa as a program associate for the Americas. Her two month contract turned into a two year contract, where she worked diligently on programming support in Nicaragua, Honduras, Bolivia, and various parts of the Caribbean where the Red Cross works on maternal and child health initiatives, disaster risk reduction services, among others programs.

After living away from Halifax for nearly six years, Lee-Anne decided to return home following an exciting month long trip backpacking throughout West Africa.

At ACIC, Lee-Anne is working as the internship coordinator, providing daily support for our IYIP interns overseas. Lee-Anne’s role encompasses many responsibilities, including logistical support and reporting. However, she also ensures the personal safety and well-being of the individuals we have sent out into the field.

Lee-Anne has a very gregarious and outgoing personality, and always presents a warm smile to her friends and colleagues. We are delighted to have her contribute to our wonderfully dynamic ACIC team. 

What is your role at ACIC?

I’m the internship coordinator for the International Youth Internship Program, which is funded by the Canadian government and for which ACIC is an implementing partner. We have 16 interns who are currently overseas. As a former IYIP intern, I’m really happy to be in this position because the program really benefitted me both personally and professionally. The role entails logistical coordination of interns as well as coordinating with host organizations in Canada and overseas. When I’m not working directly on IYIP programming, I’m providing support for other ACIC programming. Our interns will be returning to Canada at the end of February.

If could have lunch with someone who would it be? Past or present.

Elizabeth May, because she is a really passionate person trying to live her ideals. I think that’s something that is often lost as people get older and move up within the professional realm. She’s very outspoken and articulate and works really hard. She believes that a better world is possible according to her vision of it- I think that’s really incredible.

What is your hidden talent?

This was my hidden talent when I was an intern as well – I hula-hoop, not very well, but with dedication.

What’s your favorite bit about working at ACIC?

The people. I really like the office environment; it’s a very supportive and inclusive place to work. We pack quite the punch for a small organization!

What book are you currently reading?

I’ve been reading a lot of Michael Ondaatje recently. I just finished reading “In the Skin of a Lion.” He is the guy who also wrote “The English Patient.” I love some of his stuff, and some of his other stuff I can’t read because I can’t focus on it, he’s very complex. I find him complex to read. 

Favourite Quote

“What is essential is invisible to the eye” -  Antoine de Saint-Exupery, author of The Little Prince.

On a day off, I’d…

Run, or write, or read.

Tell us about something on your bucket list

Run a half marathon!!