Jade Arignon | 49 Langarans Award Recipient

VOLT volunteer program electrifies campus culture at former ‘commuter school’

As a young international student from France, Jade Arignon was not allowed to work in Canada. Instead, she volunteered to gain experience, and when she was recruited to play basketball at Langara College, she hoped to continue her community involvement.

Arignon arrived on the West 49th Avenue campus in fall 2008 and sensed many of her fellow students were also willing volunteers. However, there seemed to be no place to go to find information and get involved at the time.

Working with Kinesiology student Warren Springer and Clayton Munro, the Dean of Student Services, she founded the VOLT Volunteer Program in 2010. VOLT’s mandate was to create community engagement, social awareness and student development through volunteerism.

Today, VOLT has grown to include over 3,000 student volunteers. VOLT volunteers are a fixture at Langara events, they welcome students onto campus, lead neighbourhood clean-ups, and support community organizations.

Arignon said the program has played a significant role in creating a stronger campus culture.

“When I was a student, Langara was a commuter school,” she said. “Students would come for classes and then leave. We asked ourselves — how can we get students engaged and encourage them to stay on campus?”

By enlisting student volunteers to lead school tours and help with orientations, for example, Arignon and her VOLT co-founders started seeing students stay on campus longer than two hours or so for each class.

“That’s also part of the reason why it turned into such a transformative program,” she added. “People started seeing volunteers on campus, so they got interested in volunteering, too. It created a community and a group for students to belong to.”

Arignon ultimately graduated with a Bachelor of Business Administration degree and now works as the administrative and operations lead at Urban Matters CCC, a social innovation company that helps communities deliver tangible solutions so that people can live happier and healthier lives.

She said she feels fortunate to be doing something directly related to her degree early in her career. In part, she credits her success to her experience co-founding VOLT.

“I work in a world where we’re trying to solve problems like the opioid overdose crisis and affordable housing,” she said. “At first, you may not see a solution, but I learned very early through VOLT that the power of an idea goes a long way.

“One idea matched with a passionate team can truly create positive change.”

About Langara College’s 49 Langarans Celebrating its 49th year on 49th Avenue, Langara is honouring 49 Langarans; those who are making an impact in the community and have helped shape the College into what it is today. From theatre directors and journalists to small business owners, community advocates, and dedicated employees – the stories of the award recipients are as varied as the College’s journey over the past 49 years.

Meet the 49 Langarans at beyond49.langara.ca

Just Posted

Social justice advocate yells at Kelowna council, demands presence at Black Lives Matter rally

Heather Friesen has again taken to council chambers to make her opinion heard

RDCO closes section of Mission Creek due to high water levels

RDCO urges visitors to respect closure signs posted at these locations until waters recede

Surrey man accused of murdering his partner in West Kelowna back in court

Tejwant Danjou took his first steps back into Kelowna Law Courts on Monday

Easter Seals shifts to virtual camps due to COVID-19 restrictions

The Lake Country summer camp is for children and adults with disabilities

B.C. Hockey League prepping for 2020-21

League reviewing different scenarios and start times in compliance with provincial regulations

VIDEO: A Vancouver Island black bear takes weekend nap in eagle tree

Videos captured by Terry Eissfeldt shows the bear arriving Saturday night and sleeping in on Sunday

High water levels on Shuswap Lake may close popular Canoe Beach

Rain forecast could flood entrance tunnel, city staff to evaluate

189 homes in Grand Forks area given evacuation orders

Homes are in the Nursery, Grand Forks Airport, Gilpin Rd., Johnson Flats and Granby Rd. areas

Summerland man rescued following ATV accident

Helicopters used to transport injured man to Kelowna for treatment

Vernon videographer captures thunderstorm

See the ‘best bits’ of Saturday’s storm

Dyer: I left my heart in the desert

Kristy Dyer is a columnist for Black Press Media who writes about the environment

Horoscopes for the week of June 1

Weekly horoscopes by Morgan Fava

George Floyd asphyxiated by sustained pressure: family autopsy

Death sparked a wave of protests across the U.S. and abroad

Most Read