Former PAL centre reorganized to better assist students
Peerconnect centres are now united and share the same mission of providing services at all campuses including Ryerson, where they opened a new office in September.
Paige Dalson, a fourth-year student in the early childhood leadership program, has been working there since the start of the year providing weekly tutoring for students.
“It’s usually something quick because people here are always on the go,” Dalson said adding that 383 students have engaged with Peerconnect since September.
Peerconnect, formally known as the PAL centre, offers workshops on personal wellness, study strategies and employability skills. There also are game days on Wednesdays and Chinese relaxation movements workshops open to every student.
Kitu Sharma, a peer coach since 2014, works at St. James doing workshops on presentations, mindful meditation and nutrition.
“Our main goal is to create a culture of care,” said Sharma. “The unique thing about our service is that it is provided by students for students,” she added, saying the peer coach’s own student experience comes in handy too.
Carlos Carli, a relative newbie at St. James Peerconnect, has been doing marketing and workshops for international students since September. He said that he sees more students coming to the centre after the rebranding.
“The more time we spend, the more things we do,” he said referring to new initiatives such as Winter 101 workshop or Halloween pumpkin carving contest.
Carli mentioned a student who literally cried on his shoulder once. That student saw Carli as someone he could trust and let it out. “It caught me off-base, but it was great to see how much people trust us,” said Carli.
“It’s amazing that we are giving the platform to make that connection. I see that a lot,” added Sharma.