Conrad Grebel University College
140 Westmount Road North
Waterloo, ON, Canada N2L 3G6
Over 90 students have had paid employment with participants in the Kindred Credit Union Centre for Peace Advancement. These placements not only build important skills and abilities, they provide invaluable pathways into high-impact positions. Placements with participants in our Centre can open doors by making the right connections with important networks, and help mentor students in their next steps – whether academically or professionally.
One of the employment opportunities in the Centre for Peace Advancement is in the role of Communication Assistant through the co-operative education program at the University of Waterloo. Students in this role have gone on to prominent positions with related agencies. We sat down with Charity Nonkes and Grace Wright to learn how their time with the Centre for Peace Advancement has equipped them to be changemakers.
After Charity’s co-op placement with the Centre for Peace Advancement in Fall 2017, she went on to intern with Mennonite Central Committee’s Ottawa Office and is currently working with the University of Waterloo’s Entrepreneurship at Environment team building pathways and partnerships to help Environment students explore their passions and learn how to turn their ideas into an enterprise.
In her role as Program Assistant, Charity supports the Faculty of Environment’s Associate Dean, Strategic Initiatives on entrepreneurship related activities. This includes planning and executing events, research grounded in the Social Development Goals, creating community resource materials, and helping connect students with the innovation ecosystem on campus. Charity explained that during her time with the Centre for Peace Advancement, she began to realize the role that entrepreneurship can play in addressing social or environmental challenges. Through her role with the Faculty of Environment, she is able to take this knowledge to help students who want to address global challenges make the right connections on campus.
"The Centre for Peace Advancement introduced me to social innovation and using entrepreneurship as a vessel for change. My time at the Centre gave me a lens to look at problems as part of a system which has helped me to understand the social/environmental issues I work with. At MCC this helped me to tackle research on the criminal justice system and at Entrepreneurship at Environment it includes incorporating a peace-building approach to environmental entrepreneurship."
Grace Wright worked with the Centre for Peace Advancement as the Communications Assistant (Winter 2018) and Communications and Research Assistant (Fall 2018). Grace is currently working with Waterloo’s Ethics, Technology, and Social Impact Committee. In this role she is conducting an environmental scan of research, teaching, entrepreneurship, and student activity at the University of Waterloo related to ethical questions regarding the development and adoption of disruptive technologies and their impacts on society.
“My time as a co-op student in the Centre for Peace Advancement exposed me to a community that actively explored the intersection of peacebuilding with technology, and gave me the space and connections to learn about the social and ethical implications of new and emerging technologies that I was not exposed to before. Working in the Centre positioned me incredibly well for this role, as it was the source of my interest in this impact space and allowed me to explore these questions and what they mean for the world.”
The Centre for Peace Advancement acts as a bridge between theory and practice, allowing students to translate their knowledge into impact and build networks and pathways for high impact careers.