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n her time at Mount Allison, Lauren Kervin has woven
herself not only into the campus community, but the
community as a whole.
Kervin, from Fredericton, NB, has poured countless hours
of her time into programs and activities that benefit others,
whether tutoring elementary school children in reading and
writing through the LINKS program, raising money for
cystic fibrosis during the annual Shinerama campaign, or
making sure new students start off on the right foot at
Mount Allison during Orientation.
Kervin's dedication to the community earned her this year's
Gil Latter Memorial Award, which honours a student who
has volunteered their time and demonstrated an outstanding
contribution to the Sackville community.
"It was completely unexpected," Kervin says of winning the
award. "It is a good recognition overall of the amazing things
that are happening in the community, the good opportunities
we have, and the good programs."
While Kervin has been involved in many programs during
her time at Mount Allison, the one closest to her heart is
Best Buddies, a program she helped establish here.
Best Buddies pairs Mount Allison students with adults
with intellectual disabilities. The buddies meet regularly
for dance parties, games of Twister, snacks, or just to spend
time together.
"We wanted to promote equal rights for people with disabili-
ties. Mount A has done a great job of that," Kervin says. "And
getting to meet these people and knowing you made a differ-
ence in their day -- what more can you ask for?"
Kervin also participated in SMILE, a recreational program
for children with special needs.
The Gil Latter Memorial Award, which is presented by the
Mount Allison Students' Union (MASU), was established in
1989 to honour student Gil Latter, who, during his time at
Mount Allison, was very involved in and committed to the
Sackville community.
"We are really looking for someone who has improved
the Sackville community," says MASU President Heather
Webster, who served as VP campus life this past year.
"We had a number of people nominated for the award
who had contributed to the Sackville community, but
Lauren had devoted what looked like all of her free time
to the community. I think sometimes that is harder to do
because there are so many opportunities on campus."
Kervin says volunteering is part of the culture at Mount
"I think I know more people than not who volunteer," she
says. "It is inspiring to be around people like that. And I
think you can see the difference that it makes, especially in
a small community like this."
Kervin, who graduated in May, has become so tightly
connected to the community that leaving Sackville is going
to be tough.
"It is heartbreaking," she says. "It may be part of the reason I
am staying on this year to work as a research assistant in the
psychology department, to still be in the community.
"When I think of my buddy and my SMILE buddy, and
the kids I tutor at school, it is hard to think of leaving them
because you are used to them being in your life. And to know
that many people with all of those different perspectives --
how can you not be changed by that? Every part of my life at
Mount A and in Sackville has helped me develop."
by Aloma Jardine
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