At Dalhousie, learning extends beyond the classroom. Many students are making a significant difference in the wider community while achieving success within the classroom. This year, the department of Student Services began an initiative called "Making a Difference at Dal," recognizing outstanding student achievements within the Dalhousie community and beyond.
After finishing the first year of his undergraduate degree in political science, Ian Joyce joined the Dalhousie Chapter of the Golden Key International Honour Society. After being inducted as a member of this society, Joyce decided he wanted to become even more involved and therefore attended an election for executive positions. "One of the positions available was academic programs director," he said, adding that he was interested in exploring ways for the society to become involved with more academic programs at the time.
After being elected into the position, Joyce began one of the biggest academic initiatives in the history of the society, the tutoring and mentorship program. For over three years now, Dalhousie students have been going to schools across the HRM and tutoring kids, helping them achieve better grades in everything from math to French to physical education. The program, which began in junior high schools, has now been extended to high schools.
"The students are not only doing better and passing their classes, but they are feeling better about themselves too. This program has done a lot for their self-esteem," Joyce says.
He added that one of the most rewarding aspects of the program is to see students gain an interest in an academic future.
"Many of these students had already decided at a young age that they weren't going to go to university," says Joyce. "After being a part of this program, a lot of them are now planning on pursuing a university degree, perhaps at Dalhousie."
Although combining extra curricular activities with law school required skills in time management, he did not regret for a minute his involvement with the tutoring and mentorship program.
"I have often been described as being enthusiastic," laughs Joyce. "No matter what I do, I give it my all."
Although he will be leaving Dalhousie in a few weeks, Joyce plans on remaining committed to the university. "I feel very indebted to Dalhousie as a result of the lessons I have learned within and outside of the classroom," says Joyce. "I will take that with me wherever I go."
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