49 Langarans

49Langaran

VOLT Volunteer Program Founders

Langara Alumni & Current Employee | Volunteer Advocates

VOLT volunteer program electrifies campus culture at former ‘commuter school

As a young international student from France, Jade Arignon was not allowed to work in Canada. Instead, she volunteered to gain experience, and when she was recruited to play basketball at Langara College, she hoped to continue her community involvement.

Arignon arrived on the West 49th Avenue campus in fall 2008 and sensed many of her fellow students were also willing volunteers. However, there seemed to be no place to go to find information and get involved at the time.

Working with Kinesiology student Warren Springer and Clayton Munro, the Dean of Student Services, she founded the VOLT Volunteer Program in 2010. VOLT’s mandate was to create community engagement, social awareness and student development through volunteerism.

Today, VOLT has grown to include over 3,000 student volunteers. VOLT volunteers are a fixture at Langara events, they welcome students onto campus, lead neighbourhood clean-ups, and support community organizations.

Arignon said the program has played a significant role in creating a stronger campus culture.

“When I was a student, Langara was a commuter school,” she said. “Students would come for classes and then leave. We asked ourselves — how can we get students engaged and encourage them to stay on campus?”

By enlisting student volunteers to lead school tours and help with orientations, for example, Arignon and her VOLT co-founders started seeing students stay on campus longer than two hours or so for each class.

“That’s also part of the reason why it turned into such a transformative program,” she added. “People started seeing volunteers on campus, so they got interested in volunteering, too. It created a community and a group for students to belong to.”

Arignon ultimately graduated with a Bachelor of Business Administration degree and now works as the administrative and operations lead at Urban Matters CCC, a social innovation company that helps communities deliver tangible solutions so that people can live happier and healthier lives.

She said she feels fortunate to be doing something directly related to her degree early in her career. In part, she credits her success to her experience co-founding VOLT.

“I work in a world where we’re trying to solve problems like the opioid overdose crisis and affordable housing,” she said. “At first, you may not see a solution, but I learned very early through VOLT that the power of an idea goes a long way.

“One idea matched with a passionate team can truly create positive change.”

Courtesy of Black Press Media

49 Facts — NO. 11

In 2016 Langara was given the name snəw̓eyəɬ leləm̓ by the Musqueam people, which means “house of teachings” in the hən̓q̓əmin̓əm̓ language. Langara was the first public post-secondary institution in BC to be honoured with an aboriginal name by a BC First Nation.

Meet more 49 Langarans.

  • Judy Boxler

    Judy Boxler

    Retired Employee | Problem Solver

    Judy is the founder and developer of the Langara Computer Technology Diploma program. She was the original computer science coordinator in Langara’s Math, Statistics and Computer Science department, and became the first Department Chair of the Computer Science when it became its own independent department. She also served in various academic leadership capacities, including Division Chair of Math and Sciences and as a member of the Langara Faculty Association Board for several years. Outside of Langara, she has volunteered with agencies such as the BC Cancer Agency, One to One Literacy, and St. John Hospice at UBC. Judy now lives on Pender Island where she volunteers as Duty Officer in the emergency program, serves as a Member of the Board of Directors at the Pender Post, and serves as Librarian on the Board of Directors of the Pender Island Choir.

  • Duncan McCallum

    Duncan McCallum

    Retired Employee | Athletics Program Founder

    Duncan was Langara’s first Athletics Director and Coach of the men’s basketball team. Duncan coached the Falcons from 1971–1991 and served as the Athletic Director from 1971–1994. He established a men’s basketball program that won 10 BC Provincial College Championships, five National College Championship silver medals, and amassed nearly 400 league wins during his college career. He developed community leaders and coaches during his time at Langara College and was named the CCAA Men’s Basketball Coach of the Year in 1986. Several years later, the men’s basketball fair play award was renamed in his honour. In 2009, he was inducted into the Basketball BC Hall of Fame and was inducted in the Canadian Collegiate Athletics Association Hall of Fame in 2017 in recognition of the indelible legacy he left at Langara and in the basketball community.

  • Linda Hudson

    Linda Hudson

    Langara Alum | Business Owner

    Linda is the President and Owner of Kerrisdale Cameras, a family-owned chain of camera stores, and a long-time supporter of Langara College. Originally opened in 1961 by her father Bob Hudson and grandmother, Mary Hudson, Kerrisdale Cameras is a photographic retailer of new, used, digital, and film photo equipment. The company has seven stores in Metro Vancouver and Victoria. Linda works hard to maintain and grow the family legacy. She has been with Kerrisdale Cameras for over 35 years and learned the secret to running a successful business from her father: treat your employees, customers and suppliers honestly and with respect.  Today, over 40% of Kerrisdale employees have been with the company for ten or more years and over 15% are Langara alumni or current students. The company is now the Canada’s second largest independent photo retailer. 

    Linda has a diploma from Langara College (1981) and a BBA from SFU (1989) and held the Certified Human Resources Professional (CHRP) designation (1999-2013). She was the first retailer in BC to sign the BC Safety Charter. Linda also volunteered for nine years as Treasurer at the BC Retail Safety Society, has been a Strata Council Member in Whistler for 17 years, and is on the Board of Directors of the Kerrisdale Business Association. She also volunteers with the new Kerrisdale Earthquake & Emergency Preparedness (KEEP) working group to help local businesses work together to become disaster resilient.

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