Writing Samples


News Article: Long Shifts, Stress and Lack of Exercise Common for Today’s Students

The number of students trying to balance both work and academics is increasing each year, according to research from various colleges and universities across Canada. Data from Statistics Canada shows that approximately 72 per cent of full-time students also work part-time. As the cost of living rises, and the tuition for post-secondary is hiked up each year, more and more students struggle with keeping up both their grades and their finances.

Adam Meech is one of the many students trying to both work and study successfully. Working an average of 20 hours a week, Meech is feeling the stress of a busy schedule.

“I usually try to start my assignments early,” says Meech, “but often I find myself finishing them last minute because I had to work 5 shifts in the past week.”

It’s no surprise that this overload of responsibilities is leading 1 in 5 students to feel depressed, anxious, or otherwise mentally unhealthy. In extreme cases, up to 15% of students have contemplated suicide, and a staggering number of students give up on post-secondary entirely.

“I definitely think that some days I don’t know how to handle my stress,” Meech says. “I know there are services on campus to deal with this kind of thing, but I don’t always know who to talk to. Sometimes I honestly just don’t have the time to seek it out.”

It’s up to colleges and universities to support their students and to ensure that students who need help know where to go. In a survey conducted by the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health in 2015, 28 per cent of students reported that they wanted to talk to someone about their mental health, but didn’t know how to access this help.

So how can colleges and universities promote better mental health? The answer lies in financial aid, counselling services, and ensuring that students prioritize a balanced and healthy lifestyle. All of these aspects can be improved in the form of communicating important financial aid details, ensuring students feel welcome in the school community, and offering programs and access to health facilities to improve both mental and physical health.

Physical health is also key in ensuring students feel energized and productive.

“School is my top priority” says Meech, “I have the job so I can get myself through school. I’m lucky enough to have a job that I enjoy, but doing both is physically and mentally draining. That means I can’t really get to the gym often enough because I’m so exhausted.”

Lack of exercise or sleep can lead students to perform poorly in their studies, thus increasing the amount of stress and therefore anxiety levels. It’s a vicious cycle that the majority of students will experience at one point or another. The danger begins when a student is caught in this cycle for a particularly long period of time.

Overall, schools around the country need to reflect on the pressure placed on students, and solve problems using a holistic approach that accounts for factors beyond the classroom. Ensuring students have the proper mechanisms and support they require to deal with heightened stress will improve overall performance, and will lead to healthier habits later in life.

Media Release: Art of Healing 


Ottawa – July 25, 2017 Algonquin College public relations students will be hosting an art auction and networking event, The Art of Healing, in support of the Wabano Centre for Aboriginal Health.

The event is part of the student-run campaign, Band Together, which takes place over four fundraising events.

The Art of Healing will feature art from several local artists working in various mediums, but the event has a focus on the importance of art to Aboriginal culture and tradition. Although many types of art are represented, keynote speakers will be addressing Aboriginal health and culture, and the workshop will teach participants a traditional Aboriginal craft.

“The Wabano Centre itself is full of art, teachings and stories. The Art of Healing is a great complement to the significance of art to Aboriginal peoples,” says Bradley Moseley-Williams, the coordinator of the public relations program at the College. “The students have gathered an impressive line-up of artists to collaborate with for the event.”

The Art of Healing will feature both a live and silent auction, networking with local artists, keynote speakers, and a craft workshop. Refreshments and appetizers will be provided. The event runs from 6:30 to 9 p.m. on July 25, 2017 at Biagio’s Italian Kitchen.

About the Band Together Campaign

Band Together is a student-run campaign to raise money and awareness for the Wabano Centre for Aboriginal Health. Each year, students from the Algonquin College public relations program run a campaign to support a local charity. The goal for the Band Together campaign is to raise $10,000 over four events, as well as increase awareness of the Wabano Centre and provide an opportunity for members of the Ottawa community to learn about Aboriginal culture.

For more information and to purchase tickets, please visit www.bandwithwabano.com/events

Backgrounder: Art of Healing

The Art of Healing is one of the four fundraising events as part of the Band Together campaign. As part of the public relations program at Algonquin College, students choose a local not-for-profit organization to benefit from the student-run campaign. This year, students chose to raise funds for the Wabano Centre for Aboriginal Health.

In previous years, students have raised up to $26,000 in a single campaign, obtained both local and national media coverage, and received up to 500,000 online impressions. The goal for the Band Together campaign is to raise $10,000 over four events, increase awareness of the Wabano Centre and its programs, and give members of the Ottawa community the opportunity to participate in and learn about Aboriginal culture.  

The Art of Healing will take place on Tuesday, June 25 at (location). The art auction features local artists with a variety of art ranging from Aboriginal art, to photography, paintings. and sculptures, among others. All art is donated by the artists themselves, and they are the key to our social media strategy and promotion. Artists will also be available during the event to talk to guests, and give presentations.

The event will also feature guest speakers from the Aboriginal community, workshops, trade booths, and refreshments and snacks. Tickets for the event are $10 each or two for $15, and can be purchased in-person or online.

The focus of the event is on the artists, but also the importance of art to Aboriginal peoples. Workshops, crafts and event promotion is focused on Aboriginal culture, and the importance art has in sharing Aboriginal history and tradition.

The event will be promoted on Twitter and Instagram with the hashtags #ArtofHealing and #Wabano. The overall campaign will be using the hashtag #BandTogether.