How can we find a different way to help people? Three guest speakers from the healthcare industry visited Marc Garneau on 29 November 2018 to encourage students to find an answer to this question. In the library, the speakers presented three seminars for twelve classes of students during periods 1, 2, and 3.

Three guest speakers visited MGCI to talk about new ways to help others. Image: Evelyn Jiang

Planning for this event started when Principal Ms. Goldenberg and Guidance Counselor Mr. Phambri met with University of Toronto faculty members earlier this school year. With the conferences, they hoped to offer students new perspectives on career pathways in science and technology.

The workshop was hosted by Holly Lievonen, the Youth Centre Coordinator for The Neighbourhood Organization, a non-profit charity that supports low-income, marginalized, and newcomer communities across Toronto. The speakers, all from different sectors of the healthcare industry, shared their experiences and spoke about opportunities for student engagement in the future.

The first speaker was Ryan Hinds, a motivational speaker who is currently in charge of the Leading Community Engagement at Toronto Central Local Health Integration Network (LHIN). The LHIN is responsible for planning, funding, integrating, and delivering home care services to citizens across Toronto. They improve and innovate the healthcare system, as well as streamline services to make them more accessible. Hinds described his past as a Canadian immigrant and a professional football player, as well as his transition into his current position, where he mentors students and helps improve public health systems in Toronto.

Ryan Hinds spoke at the seminar. Image: Evelyn Jiang

Charlotte Lombardo, a specialist in Social Behavioural Health Sciences at the University of Toronto, was the seminar’s second speaker. She discussed the mental, spiritual, and community health aspects of the healthcare industry, including how social justice inequalities and violence can impact health. Healthcare workers are looking to resolve these issues in order to improve the physical and mental health of those who are in unsafe environments.

The third and final speaker was Emily Seto, the lead of Health Informatics at the University of Toronto. She suggested that students consider different methods of healthcare, as well as developing technology and how it has changed the healthcare industry.

Overall, the seminars were a success. “The conference was very educational and inspirational. It introduced a lot of different career pathways and the speakers were very engaging,” commented Grade 10 student Lauren Liu.

The three speakers, along with other healthcare professionals, plan to run a mentorship program in Marc Garneau. The program will begin in February, and will help students open pathways in the healthcare industry and connect with universities.