CARBONEAR, NL —
A recent award win has Allison Seward picking her jaw up off the floor.
The Community Leadership Development program graduate has been named the winner of the Fry Family Foundation’s (FFF) President’s Excellence in Leadership Achievement Award.
“It was definitely a core memory for me winning this award! When they announced my name, it felt like my jaw hit the floor,” she said. “I was so overwhelmed with excitement and surprise. Happiness was pouring through my veins and all I kept thinking was, 'Is this for real?'”
Seward graduated from College of the North Atlantic’s (CNA) Carbonear campus in 2022 and says she is feeling the love from her family and fellow students.
“My family, classmates, and professors were over the moon for me which made me feel extra warm inside,” she said. “It is something I don't think I'll ever forget and will forever be grateful and appreciative towards the Fry Family Foundation for the opportunity.”
She says the award was the result of a lot of hard work.
“Winning this reward felt as if everything I was working towards were all paying off and coming to life,” said Seward. “Lots of time and effort was/is put into my studies, community, and college life. When I won the reward, I knew everything leading up to this point was worth every sleepless night studying, volunteer hours, and everything in between.”
The FFF Leadership Achievement Award is given each year to a student who makes a significant positive impact in their community. Other criteria include high academic standards and strong leadership skills.
Before completing her diploma, Seward completed two years at CNA in the Comprehensive Arts and Sciences (CAS) Transition program; finishing in 2020.
“My time at CNA was nothing but positivity and happiness!” exclaimed Seward. “I spent a total of four years at the Carbonear campus, and I couldn't ask for a better experience. The campus will always have a special place in my heart, and I valued my time there immensely.”
A highlight for her at the Carbonear campus was small class size.
“Being a smaller campus means you have more of an opportunity to connect with your instructors, students, and your campus in general! Although learning online took time away from being in person on campus, it made me and my classmate’s bond stronger. We were in the pandemic together, learning to navigate the ins and outs of how to do this whole online learning, and we certainly had each other's backs along with our instructors’ help.”
Dedicated to helping others
As part of her volunteer work Seward joined the local student council in her second year at CNA.
“It was the best move I ever made. It meant more opportunities to have a voice in campus decisions, sharing ideas, helping with college events, and overall being an active student.”
Seward says she whole-heartedly recommends the Community Leadership Development program.
“If you love helping others and have a strong love for your community and have an open mind and heart, Community Leadership Development is for you,” she said, adding that kindness goes a long way. “When I was a young girl, I always had a love for helping others and loved to share my thoughts/ideas with others. When I read the description of this program, it's something I knew I would absolutely love doing for the rest of my life.”
She says graduates of the program have a wide variety of career paths they can take.
“I knew right away this is where I needed to be and this is the career path I wanted to pursue. Choices through this program are endless – seniors, mental health, addictions, youth, disabilities, and the list goes on,” she said. “It really broadens what career you would like to pursue as there are so many options and the program really prepares and educates you on all areas, so the sky is truly your limit.”
Currently, she is a full-time employee at the Splash Centre-Harbour Grace Community Network Hub as the Volunteer Coordinator for teen programming.
“It is such a rewarding and amazing job; I love every minute of it! Working with youth is fulfilling especially if you know you are making an impact on their life and seeing their personal and educational growth is phenomenal.”
Seward hopes to continue her studies with her eyes on getting her degree in Community Studies at Cape Breton University.
“I absolutely love learning and education is really important to me, I always look for opportunities to expand and gain new knowledge whenever I can.”
For more information about Community Leadership Development and other CNA programs, visit www.cna.nl.ca
College of the North Atlantic