Community Building One Meme at a Time

Rachel began her mindyourmind placement as Marketing and Innovation Assistant this September, and could not be more excited! As a Psychology and Business student at the University of Waterloo, she is a proud mental health advocate, and passionate about helping connect mental health resources with those who need them. In her spare time, she enjoys writing, baking and going outdoors.

I am a University of Waterloo Co-op student and for the last 4 months, I have worked with mindyourmind as the Marketing and Innovation Assistant. Specifically, I was part of a lot of the promotion for our upcoming project, Be Change.

One task I had was make a contact list of organizations that might be interested in Be Change. This list included anyone trying to make change, from places working with at risk youth to Entrepreneurship clubs to social innovation labs. The list was endless! I was struck by both the size of it, and the broad range of potential stakeholders. Be Change could be used by anyone, from the most privileged university entrepreneur to the least advantaged young person. And everyone was connected by that drive to make the world a little better.

The opportunity for community building and real inclusivity is inspiring.

I also kept up a lot of our social media- That’s right- I’m the face behind a lot of those tweets and memes. While working on posts, part of my job was seeking out opportunities to share with youth who wanted to make change. I also regularly sought out cool youth led initiatives that were already happening, to highlight on our pages. I was shocked at how easy it was to find these things! It was so great to see so many youth making social change, and how many organizations were starting to recognize the value of these youth. I was excited to show off all these initiatives week after week, and to give them an opportunity to grow and communicate with Be Change. Especially with so much negative news in our media lately, it was a relief to realize that social innovation hasn’t ended: in fact, I think it’s just begun. And anyone, anyone at all can be a part of it.

Overall, the most rewarding part of working on Be Change was realizing that

  1. change is being made; and
  2. I can be a part of it.

Sometimes, when thinking about all the barriers to wellness people may face today, it becomes easy to get discouraged. No one person can change a system, and thinking about all the problems that need to be solved can be really overwhelming, especially because I am “just a student”. But Be Change has taught me that you don’t need to do it alone! There are so many people and organizations out there working for change, and who want to hear your opinions and make your voice heard. And if you want to do your own thing, there are plenty of ways to do that too. I am excited to see Be Change highlight and enhance these opportunities, and bring a community of ChangeMakers together. I am honoured to have been a part of it.

For more information on Be Change and to follow our updates click here.