St. Charles College

Around the World and Back to Share Her Story

An eighteen year-old student, world traveler and ambassador visited St. Charles College this week to share stories about her work and travels in Africa.
Laura Limarzi is a graduate of Assumption High School in Windsor, Ontario.  During her years there, she was the student council president and got involved with many social justice issues and initiatives including HOBEY International and Craig Kielberger’s Me to We program.  During her last year in high school she got the chance to travel to Africa with Me to We to learn about life in Kenya, and helped with the foundations projects, focusing on clean water and education. 
Upon graduation, Limarzi was awarded the Morehead-Cain Scholarship, which is a full scholarship to attend University of North Carolina Chapel Hill.  Currently she is taking a ‘gap’ year, which has led her to work with the oraganization Determined to Develop.  Through this organization, she travelled to Malawi where she lived for four months working with children.  Upon her return, she was invited to Mozambique to work with The United States Military AIDS Research Program.
Limarzi was in town to visit family, and was invited by her aunt, a teacher, to SCC to share her experiences with our students.  The goal of Limarzi’s visit was to inspire others to get involved in their school, their country and the world in which they live, always remembering that no matter where we live, our daily struggles are similar.  We are united through the human experience. 
Throughout the day spent at SCC, Limarzi made two presentations.  One to Leadership students and the students who had just returned from Guatemala, and one to the Life Skills students.  Her message in each presentation was simple. Get involved!  Together we can make this world a better place, whether through local or global causes.  Laura also visited Holy Cross Elementary School, and The Soup Kitchen while in Sudbury.

SCC Students Take Part in a G.R.E.A.T. Adventure

Recently, 20 students from St. Charles College had the opportunity of a lifetime. These students from the Life Skills program spent three days and two nights at the Tim Horton’s Camp near Parry Sound where they took part in leadership workshops. At the camp, the students were given the opportunity to grow and learn as a group working through such topics as role-modelling, overcoming obstacles, and decision making. All activities were done in an outdoor environment, which made it a unique and exciting adventure for the students. Part of the program involved the G.R.E.A.T. bead program which was created to highlight the achievements that the campers experience at the camp. The different coloured beads – which stand for Goal setting, Responsible leadership, Environmental awareness, Adventure and creativity and Teamwork and friendship, are earned and become a take home reminder of all that they have accomplished at the camp. Patricia Demore, one of the teachers that accompanied the students was extremely proud of her class as they “exemplified true Catholic students during their stay,” Demore explained, “During their whole experience, our students showed compassion, citizenship and a real sense of community. They had an amazing time and some really strong friendships were formed between our students and others that also attended the camp. We are really hoping to make this an annual event as it was a priceless opportunity for us all.” Demore, the students who participated, and the rest of the St. Charles College staff want to thank Tim Hortons once again as not only did they organize the event for the students, they also covered all expenses for the entire trip.

St. Charles College gets ‘All Dressed Up’ in Preparation for Graduation Festivities

On April 15, 2013 St. Charles College held a graduation gown giveaway event for girls in grade twelve.

The project, put on by the Guidance Department in collaboration with the Sudbury District Health Unit, aims to ease the financial burdens of graduation gown costs and builds self esteem for girls.

The event was held in the Student Success Center and allowed the soon-to-be graduates a selection of over two hundred gowns in varying sizes, colours and styles.

Student Success Teacher Anastasia Rioux organized the first-time event at the school. Rioux says “There is so much for a girl to think about in their graduating year. Applications to university and college cost money. Then there is the hair, the dress and the shoes to contend with as well. Anything we can do to help kids cut costs, we are willing to do. The student council also got involved in putting up posters and making announcements to raise awareness about the event.”

Rioux got involved with the All Dressed Up program a couple years ago after conducting a dress drive of her own and raising twenty-one dresses that were donated to the worthy cause.

A number of students in their graduating year ended up coming into the Student Success Center to browse and take one home. A couple of students even stopped by from neighbouring schools who had heard about the invite through social media and decided to check it out.

The school plans to hold a similar event again next year.

Harlem Ambassadors Deliver Messages of Confidence, B+ and Set Goals to High School Students

The Official Harlem Ambassadors athletes dribbled their way into the gym of Sudbury’s largest high school to show off their bag of basketball tricks and share their success stories on Monday, April 8th.

The athletes wanted the grades nine and ten students from St. Charles, Lo Ellen and Lasalle to know that they will have to overcome obstacles in life but they should do it with the confidence to say “no” to drugs and alcohol.

The adrenaline filled show was hosted by Sudbury’s Crimestoppers and featured personal stories from each Ambassador who was personally touched by drugs and alcohol addiction.

St. Charles College Teacher’s Story Included in Book About Resilience

It takes a lot of courage to talk to those close to you about a life changing experience. It takes even more courage to share that story with the world. Patricia Demore, a Lifeskills teacher at St. Charles College has done just that. Included in a book by her former teacher’s college professor, Demore tells her story of growing up a sibling of a person with Down syndrome, and the profoundly positive experience as a result of this unique and wonderful relationship.

The inclusion of Demore’s story is a result of a voluntary assignment with teacher Warnie Richardson who, several years ago, asked his students, if they were comfortable to share stories of risk and resilience that they had experienced. According to Richardson, “(I) have collected personal narratives from 111 individual students, all of whom have individually noted, both in person and in writing, a profound willingness to see exposed and share a significantly challenging and sometimes deeply disturbing period in their lives.“ Richardson explains that this book is definitely for older audiences, as some of the recounted experiences are deeply disturbing and extremely personal. Collected as part of his research, this book delves into the idea that “To arrive at the happy may also require that you expend a little emotional energy sorting through the sad.”

Three months before she began teacher’s college, Demore’s sister Christine passed away, and she felt that this would be a wonderful opportunity to share her story about the trials and tribulations of growing up with a sister with Down’s syndrome, and the impactful life lessons that her time with Christine had taught her.
Growing up with an older sister with a disability, Demore definitely had some challenges. As a young student, she had much more responsibility than the average sibling as she often had to help out with the care and support of Christine. As well, social situations were sometimes very different for her, for example never having taken a yellow school bus, Demore had to ride the handi-transit with her sister during her schooling in order to ensure that Christine was safely accompanied to school each day. This kind of experience, when young, sometimes led to feelings of resentment, pressure and guilt.

Christine definitely inspired Demore positively as she has chosen a career path that has her working directly with students with special needs at St. Charles College. According to Demore, growing up her parents continually told her that she, ”would be a better person for having had a sibling like Christine in (her) life, which proved to be very true.” Losing her so close to her start at teacher’s college, Demore knew that she wanted to share her story, and that it is “because of Christine’s direct impact on my life, I have grown up to be a passionate, service-minded adult who desperately wants to make a difference in the lives of others…”

Author Richardson let his former students know that his book entitled, “Silk Purses, Recast Dies, and Peripatetic Apples – Narratives of Risk and Resilience from within the Academy” was finally published and that their stories had been selected for inclusion. Demore was thrilled and honoured to have her story be a part of this collection of inspirational experiences and personal accounts. Even though growing up and living with a big sister with special needs wasn’t always “clear, unobstructed sailing”, Demore knew that Christine was truly her inspiration in life. Losing her just before teacher’s college, she knew she wanted to share her story despite her own emotional turmoil. Christine’s ability to face obstacles head on, and continue through her life with a positive attitude and continuous good nature has ultimately directed Demore down her chosen path in life. “ It is without doubt why I have chosen teaching as a career, and, more specifically, “special education” as my primary focus within that teaching career…. She will forever be my guardian angel and it is because of her that I now live each day to the fullest. I am thankful that Warnie allowed me the opportunity to share my story and celebrate my sister’s life with others.”

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