From student to sponsor

University is a time when many students focus on themselves: their education, new experiences, and overall bettering their future. However, Sydney Rickard, a second year student at St. Thomas University is focusing on bettering someone else’s future aside from her own by becoming a sponsor to Rebeca Ccallatta, a six-year-old girl in Peru.

This photo of Rebeca Ccallatta and her friend Brus reminds Sydney Rickard of why she became a sponsor. Photo: Haley Stairs

Rickard came across this opportunity last December when was doing her Christmas shopping at the Regent Mall in Fredericton. While most were buying clothes, technology and the inevitable box of chocolates, a booth set up by Plan International caught her eye. She has always wanted to give back in some way, so she signed up on a whim to sponsor Ccallatta and help fund programs that benefit her and others in the community of Cusco; all of this is possible through her monthly $40 contribution.

“I know that I will have [$40] a month to give… and honestly, I feel like it’s going to help me limit my personal spending because this is a huge responsibility, [I’m] dedicated to this child now. It’s a commitment,” said Rickard.

For many students, money is tight. Rickard believes that if she lived on her own, she wouldn’t be able to afford it. However, because she lives at home, and works part time, it is possible for her.

Sydney Rickard sends off her first postcard to her sponsor child. Photo: Facebook

Sydney Rickard sends off her first postcard to her sponsor child. Photo: Facebook
However, being a sponsor isn’t all about the money, developing a connection with your sponsor child is also part of the experience. She has started writing Ccallatta postcards, and is excited to put together care packages to send to Peru.

“I can’t wait to hear from her,” said Rickard.





St. Thomas University workshops can help students level up

Most students want to achieve straight A’s, a balanced schedule, and ditch the stress, that comes complimentary, with attending university. The learning workshops at St. Thomas University offered by Learning Strategist, Heather MacDonald can help students meet these goals.

Heather MacDonald, Learning Strategist, is committed to helping students reach their full potential. Photo: Haley Stairs

MacDonald has been organizing these workshops since last year. She shares her secrets of academic success, every Wednesday on campus. For students who wish to have one-on-one sessions, MacDonald will meet with them individually.

“Since the first month that I came here, I knew that it was a really important part of this position is to reach as many students as possible, and there are about 1,900 students at St. Thomas and only one of me, so I had to come up with some ways that I could disseminate information and give students an experience in larger groups,” said MacDonald.

With exam season approaching, the ‘Level Up: From B’s to A’s’ workshop provided students with tips and tricks for scheduling study time, developing better reading strategies, handling stress and raising grades as the semester winds down.

Alex Jewett, a third-year student, is excited to put the strategies that she learned, to use. Photo: Haley Stairs

Alex Jewett, a third-year student attended the Level Up workshop on Wednesday.

“This was my first one, and I’m already [excited to go] and sort of plan and schedule and figure out what’s best for me and try new strategies,” said Jewett.

Although university can feel overwhelming, the resources at St. Thomas University can help students get back on track.