Meet JoniqueEngineer & volunteer!
Helping youth feel more confident about their future
Please meet Jonique!
Jonique volunteers with the Engineer in Residence program. She’s shaping the future for a grade 4/5 class in Ottawa.
Read on to find out more about Jonique’s story and how she is helping these kids feel more confident in their futures…
Why did you become an engineer?
I joined the engineering community as an optimist. I saw a more direct journey to the solution I wanted to be a part of in the Architectural Conservation and Sustainability Engineering program that I chose.
My intentions began from an interest in the optimizations of buildings and their energy consumption. I saw engineering as an opportunity to be part of this field in a way that would be effective and progressively solutions-oriented.
That vision became clearer as I went through my degree and entered the workforce – that engineering teaches problem-solving skillsets applicable to however far your goals reach.
Why do you volunteer?
I decided to become a volunteer because I believe the hurdles that I faced while pursuing my engineering education were largely overcome by the community support and mentorship I was fortunate to have received.
I believe the earlier these connections could have been made while I was in elementary and secondary school, the more confident I would have been with my direction and understanding.
Volunteering is more than just paying-it-forward to the community I am a part of, being part of the program is being part of the solution and ensuring that the problem-solvers that will enter career-ship alongside me have more skills and more confidence to pursue their goals of contribution.
What do you think is unique about the EIR program?
The Engineer in Residence program gives youth the opportunity to learn at different stages of their goal-setting and make more intentional decisions about their futures.
The uniqueness of the program is the variance in style and experience that each engineer will have when paired with a classroom. This brings vast arrays of knowledge and leadership exposure to the groups of students who will meet different engineers while part of the program.
There is a lot of teamwork to be done between the engineer and the teacher which helps showcase the flow of education and resourceful communication. The flexibility of the program is one of its strongest assets.
What impact do you feel you are having as a volunteer?
As an EIR volunteer I feel that the impact is multi-faceted. With the Team and collaboration from my teacher I think we are creating an environment that is breaking down the stigmas about STEM-related fields and empowering various styles of learning for each student.
We’re introducing new forms of communication about the potential in various careers and giving students the problem solving opportunities in each workshop to learn more about themselves in order to inform their goals.
The most important outcome is that the youth feel like they can make a confident decision about their future and are equipped with the experiences to be prepared for the changes related to those decisions.