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Wilfrid Laurier University Communications, Public Affairs & Marketing
December 11, 2016
Canadian Excellence

The class of SY216 with Alzheimer’s Society representative Charlotte Sider
The class of SY216 with Alzheimer’s Society representative Charlotte Sider

Headlines (Campus Updates)

Laurier Inspires

Laurier sociology class embraces community service-learning, donates $1,200

Communications, Public Affairs & Marketing

Dec 7/09

Every year, the students of SY216, the Sociology of Aging, are required to complete a community-service learning (CSL) placement. This semester, all 60 students not only took on the extra volunteer hours, but also took it one step further and raised over $1,200 for the Alzheimer’s Society of Kitchener-Waterloo.

Before the students embarked on their 18-20 hours of volunteer work, course instructor Kimberly Ellis-Hale invited Charlotte Sider, a representative from The Alzheimer’s Society of Kitchener-Waterloo, to speak to the class and help them prepare for their placements.

“Charlotte kept saying, ‘We can make a difference,’” said Jummy Rufai, a second-year English student. “So we thought, why don’t we?”

And they did. Over the course of the semester they collected donations, which they presented to Sider as a surprise at the end of the semester. The students thanked her for her enthusiasm and for inspiring them to take positive action.

“My CSL placement completely changed my view of the elderly,” said Rufai, who volunteered at a private residence where an elderly lady lives alone.

Classmate Abby Goldberg, a second-year psychology major, agrees.

“I learned firsthand that there is a big diversity in elderly people and they need to be treated as individuals,” she said. “It’s definitely a different way of learning. My experience made it easier to understand what I learned in class. Plus, it was really rewarding.”

Goldberg, who volunteered at Parkwood Memorial Home, plans to continue her placement when the semester is over.

“My coordinator told me that even just helping out once a month does wonders. It proved that we all have the ability to make a difference, and it really doesn’t take that much effort, especially when you think about the amount of time you spend watching TV.”

For information about Laurier's Community Service-Learning program, visit


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