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. 44

Langara has been home to many prestigious instructors such as mathematician and playwright Theodore Galay.

Meet more 49 Langarans.

  • Deborah Williams

    Deborah Williams

    Langara Alum | Playwright, Director, Actor

    Deborah is a graduate of Studio 58, Theatre Arts program and an award-winning writer, actress, director, and theatrical event organizer. She has worked on numerous productions over the last three decades, including Lowest Common Denominator, After Jerusalem, Clybourne Park, Importance of Being Earnest, MatchMaker, 5@50, Becky’s New Car, Hir, and many more. She also curates, hosts and produces The Flame, a sold out monthly storytelling series she co-founded 11 years ago. She facilitates storytelling intensives to empower participants of all ages, abilities, and backgrounds to craft and share their own true stories. Deborah is probably best known for her award-winning play Mom’s the Word. The story surrounding the joys and challenges of motherhood resonated so strongly with audiences that it not only toured Canada four times but has also broken box office records around the world in 14 languages and 19 countries. Mom’s the Word received the 1995 Jessie Richardson Award for Outstanding Original Play or Musical. The show also birthed two sequels that have toured across Canada: Mom’s the Word 2: Unhinged, and Mom’s the Word 3: Nest ½ Empty. Deborah has been nominated for ten Jessie awards and won three.

    Read more
  • Lynn Carter

    Lynn Carter

    Retired Employee | Faculty Leader & Social Advocate

    Lynn was a Social Services instructor at Langara for 35 years. While at Langara, Lynn served as Department Chair, was Langara’s first Education Council Chair, and the President of the Langara Faculty Association from 2007 until her retirement in 2018. Her influence on the College can still be felt in the policies and processes she helped to guide and develop, including her work to bring the University of Northern British Columbia Bachelor of Social Work program to the Langara campus. An advocate for children and families she was a leader within the social services community through her work with various government organizations and commissions, including the Ministry of Children and Families, the Gove of Inquiry into Child Protection Commission, the Board of Registration for Social Workers, Open Learning Agency, and Family Services of Vancouver. A passionate volunteer, Lynn has chaired BC Benefit Tribunals; as a Chairperson for Vocation, Rehabilitation, and Disabled Persons Appeals; and as a member of the Panel Roster of the Complaints Division, of the Children’s Commission. In addition, she served as Chair of the Board of the Greater Vancouver Community Services Society. She currently serves on the Board as Vice Chair of the RainCity Housing and Support Society.

  • 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.

View all

Thank You ToOur Partners

49 Langarans Contributing Sponsor

49 Langarans Friend/Community Partner

49 Langarans Media Partners