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My internship with DASH!

by Alex Inman

Like many university students experience, I was having a lot of questions about my future career path and studies during my last semester at UBC. Fortunately, I enrolled in a Career Development Course run through the Faculty of Land & Food Systems at UBC. As part of this course, I completed a 3-month, 180 hour voluntary internship with DASH BC.

While undergoing my internship at DASH BC, I was able to gain the skills and experience necessary for entry level positions in the health, education and non-profit fields for after graduation. This experience has been invaluable in improving my interpersonal professional, communication skills and team skills in order to accomplish tasks on a deadline.

As part of my internship, I was a part of the DASH team that put together the 2013 Afterschool Sport & Art Initiative (ASSI) Community Forum on February 28th– March 1st at the Delta Vancouver Airport Hotel. My role was coordinating logistics of getting all Forum participants from around the province to be able to attend the Forum, supporting the execution of Forum workshops and discussions as well as facilitating timely reimbursements to participants for any costs incurred. Hearing about all of the great programming that is happening around the provinces, including in some very remote communities, to encourage children to engage in afterschool programming for sport and art was very inspiring. This was an opportunity to see tangible, grassroots work that will help to improve the health and lives of the schoolchildren of our province.

Supplemental to my work with the 2013 ASSI Forum, I supported Ryan Mackey in updating and maintaining both the Healthy Schools BC web portal and the monthly newsletter. Working on writing articles and editing the newsletter submissions helped to improve my written communication skills as I grew to understand the target audience for the newsletter. I have become comfortable working in an HTML-based environment maintaining and updating the Healthy Schools BC web portal with news/updates, new programs and helping users of the portal to troubleshoot their registration and editing their own programs. This experience was invaluable in learning all of the different programs and initiatives that are out there to support healthy schools in BC!

All in all, it is hard to sum up my experience interning at DASH BC. I really enjoyed my time working with everyone on the DASH team and meeting lots of new people working to help make BC schools a healthier place to learn.  I have learned so much in so little time that will help me to be successful in the future.

Coming together to create a healthy future for our children

On Monday, May 6, 2013 we hosted our 7th Annual Healthy Schools Leadership Symposium at the SFU Harbour Centre in downtown Vancouver – and what an amazing day it was!   Over 115 stakeholders from around the province who are all  committed to creating healthier schools and healthier learners attended the event.

The day kicked off with an incredibly passionate and moving address from the Vancouver City Manager, Dr. Penny Ballem, who spoke about the importance of leadership and honesty when working together to create healthy schools.  Her message was loud and clear:  at the end of the day we all have the same end goal in mind – to create a healthy future for our children – and that we all have to put aside our personal, professional, and political differences in order to work together for the sake of all BC’s children.  The Symposium was also a great opportunity to showcase of some of the amazing work that has been taking place across the province in the area of healthy schools (for example the Healthy Schools Network, the After School Sports Initiative, and the G.O. Days program).  Just before lunch, BC’s first ever Healthy Living Youth Council shared some of their incredible work through an engaging and interactive poster session – such inspiring students!

After a fantastic lunch (which included a walk to the Olympic Cauldron), we all refocused to listen to Paige Fisher and Guy Le Masurier speak to how we can use different types of data (e.g., numbers and stories) to assess and provide evidence to the incredible work we are all doing.  The theme of the day was “working together to create healthy schools,” and the content and the structure of the day allowed participants to do just this.  The participants learned together, shared their stories and experiences, and connected on how they can best work together moving forward.  All in all the day was a huge success, and none of it could have been accomplished without the passion and commitment of all the attendees!