May 25, 2024

Conestoga College student volunteers went out Oct. 5 for a community clean-up event. With gloves, litter pickers and garbage bags in hand, they fanned out across the Doon campus and near residential neighbourhoods, on a mission to tidy up. 

Zarinab Rasaq pictured during the Community Clean-up event. (October 5, 2023). Photo by: Kiana Ferreira

Zarinab Rasaq, a student in the Business program, voiced her enthusiasm saying, “I believe in giving back to the community.” She further added, “I am looking forward to doing more of this.” 

The initiative is not new to the college. Caroyln Keays, the CCR and Engagement programmer says, “Once or twice a year, we rally a group of student volunteers to go into the community and the neighbourhoods around the campus to pick up any litter and trash that has accumulated.” 

This recent clean-up seemed to strike a chord with local residents. As students worked, a voice of gratitude and appreciation rang out from a neighbouring house. Keays commented on the appreciation between the community and the student volunteers, stating, “The neighbours really appreciate it, and the students also appreciate being able to give back to the community.” 

For the volunteers, it was more than just a community service task or an easy CCR credit; it was an opportunity to connect with other passionate students. It was also a chance to meet new students from other campuses that care about environmentalism, and create lasting connections.  

Keays said there was an impressive turnout with 95 students registering. She pointed out the commitment of the student body, emphasizing that, “Taking in consideration the Guelph students who can’t commute here, we had students come from different campuses showing their willingness to help.” 

Volunteers pick up trash in the neighbouring areas of Doon campus. (October 5, 2023). Photo by: Carolyn Keays

The event, which would typically coincide with Earth Day celebrations in April, took place during Conestoga’s Health and Wellness Week. Keays linked the relationship between environmental wellness and personal heath, stating, “I wanted to show how our behaviour impacts the environment, and how the environment impacts our health.” 

Missed the event? Don’t worry. Keays says she hopes to run more in the future, once the snow clears. If you are interested in participating in such activities, Keays advised to keep an eye on the Student Success Portal, saying, “there are new things added each week so students can check out something that works with their schedule.” 

For more information on Community Clean-up and other volunteer opportunities click here. 

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