Youth Opportunities at CAG

By Isobel Smith

Although CAG primarily offers programs to children and to adults, it is also provides opportunities for youth (and young adults!) in the forms of volunteer and employment opportunities. The after-school and camp programs hire many high school and university students.

I started working for CAG in June 2015 for summer camp, shortly after moving to OOE in May of that year. Working in that capacity helped me to notice many the wonderful things about the neighborhood, and to get to know families in the area.

After the summer, I was offered a position as a lead counsellor in the after-school program. This was a perfect fit at the time – CAG makes reasonable schedules around students’ availability, so I was able to balance my full time class schedule at Carleton University while working at Brantwood three times a week. This position allowed me an opportunity to develop my skills in leading a team of staff, and the chance to interact with kids in the beautiful park was a welcome break from academic work.

In spring 2016, CAG applied and was granted funding for three student summer jobs through the Canada Summer Jobs Program. I applied and was offered a position as a Summer Administrative Assistant. This is a great program that CAG is committed to utilizing, both to increase organizational capacity and to provide opportunities to students. That position gave me the skills needed for a strong application for a second Program Assistant position which opened this September.

I strongly encourage other high school and university students to get involved with CAG’s after-school and camp programming. It is a wonderful opportunity to develop leadership skills and have fun getting to know kids in the community. CAG is also committed to offering further opportunities, such as summer positions and supervisory positions within child programming. CAG is an outstanding employer in terms of training and supporting young staff, making it a great first job for many. CAG has recently been nominated by the YMCA for the “Inspiring Young Workers” award from the Employment Ontario Ottawa Network, as somebody who has had great employment experiences with CAG, I fully support this nomination.

Note: I am writing this blog post not as a representative of CAG, but as a resident of OOE who is grateful for the opportunities I have gotten through working at CAG.

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