Shawnee's First Week as an IYIP intern with ACIC!

Hi everybody! My name is Shawnee. I was born and raised on the beautiful Cape Breton Island but moved to the big city (aka Halifax) to attend university at 18. I picked up and hopped across the pond to spend a year in Europe at 22, and than back to my home stomping grounds for the last 10 months or so.  Now, I am excited to be heading to Ghana as the IYIP ICT and Social Communications Specialist for what I hope will be an incredible six-month Ghanaian adventure.

After a busy couple of weeks tying up lose ends, and getting all of my things in order for the next 8 months, I packed up and made the big move to the city this week. Well, it’s not that big of a move. Cape Breton is only about 5 hours away and my best friend’s couch was waiting for me in the City when I arrived. Even still, it was nice to have a change of scenery and reconnect with friends I haven’t spent time with in a while. 

I wasn’t sure what to expect when I walked into the ACIC office on Monday morning, but smiling faces and a busy schedule for the week ahead was what I found. As the ICT and Social Communication Specialist heading to Ghana, the ACIC staff asked that I start a little early to help out with some communication and public engagement activities they had on the go. It was a great way to start and really get familiarized with the organization. Our busy schedule didn’t leave much time for sitting around the office, but that was quite okay with me.  I love being out and on the go rather then sitting at a desk all day.

Bright and early Tuesday morning I showed up at the Cunard Centre for the University Job Fair that is put on each year. We spent the day chatting with university students and resent grads about ACIC, our partner organizations and international development. On Wednesday, we headed to Halifax West High School for the Canadian Student Leadership Conference, an annual conference that has been bringing student leaders from across the county together for more then 30 years. For two days, we hosted workshops for youth interesting in learning about Global Citizenship and International Cooperation. It was eye opening, to say the least. These youth were so engaged and knowledgeable about issues affecting the entire globe. Just as importantly, they were willing to discuss what they did or didn’t understand and talk openly about what they could be doing to become better global citizens at home and in their communities. After spending these two days interacting with over 100 high school students, I left feeling optimistic about all of our futures.

On top of spending my weak presenting to and working with students of various ages, I was tasked with using social media to promote one of the organizations programs, ACT 4 Global Change, to high schools and high school students across Atlantic Canada.  So, I spent my Friday at the office working on this and other promotions for ACIC, as well as helping Jackie prepare booklets for the upcoming Intern Orientation in Tatamagouche Centre. Getting a sneak peak at the schedule has definitely gotten me excited for the week ahead! I can’t wait to meet the other 19 interns who will be embarking on this adventure with me, kind of, and learning about where they are going and what kind of work they will do!