North in Focus is excited to announce our partnership with Students on Ice!
Students on Ice (SOI) is a foundation which strives “to educate the world’s youth about the importance of the Polar Regions, to support their continued learning and growth and inspire initiatives that contribute to global sustainability.” SOI takes youth on extraordinary educational expeditions to the Poles (Arctic and Antarctic regions) to immerse youth in all aspects of these regions.
SOI’s partnership with NIF reflects an intimate connection between the two organisations: NIF core team members Eva Wu, Gabrielle Foss, Ashley Cummings and Patrick Hickey, as well as Youth Engagement Advisor Ocean Wyatt, and Ambassadors Abhayjeet Singh Sachal, Didiane Shenge, Malu Ostermann, Cassie Jones, Caitlin Gilchrist and Raphael Dury are SOI alumni. For many of us, our inspiration for putting #northinfocus was nurtured, if not cultivated, by SOI. With the positive impact of SOI on us, as individuals and as an organisation, we hope to impart a positive impact on the youth of Arctic and Subarctic communities in Canada, through week-long mental wellness workshops.
When asked about her experiences with SOI and how these experiences relate to her involvement with NIF, Ashley Cummings, NIF’s Northern Consultant, Ambassador and Alumni Coordinator, said:
“Students On Ice gave me an experience that created more confidence in myself and my endeavours as well as connected me to other youth who are interested in making change. This is where I met Gabi and got introduced to Art with Heart, and a few months later I met Patrick and we connected through SOI and I got introduced to what is now North in Focus. Once I became a part of NIF, it was no surprise to connect so deeply with Eva, another alumna. The Students On Ice Foundation truly is the foundation that I've built my passion for change on. It has provided such a strong connection between so many people. Having this partnership is a dream come true to have a deeper connection with an organization that truly shifted my perspective on the world."
So what exactly does the partnership entail?
Exchange of connections to:
Alumni and mentors: community leaders, Alumni Chapter members and Alumni network members will be accessible for mental health resource and curriculum expansion; this also enables alumni connections to hold pre-planned NIF workshops in varying locations across Canada (south included; potential program expansion).
Partners: NIF will gain a greater range of valuable connections, especially those which share our aims (eg. regional governments and companies that support wellness programs); this will aid in the expansion and development of NIF-facilitated programs.
Cross-promotion: by promoting each other’s developments on websites and social/news media, we can reach and engage a larger audience; moreover, NIF can engage potential SOI applicants during workshops and mentor them throughout SOI enrollment processes.
Cross-consultation for development: NIF can seek support and guidance from SOI team members while providing a perspective on alumni engagement; and NIF can help develop a mental wellness curriculum during and post SOI expeditions and provide a continual mental wellness presence at SOI.
- Blog post written by the one and only Blog Ambassador, Derek Leung.