Serving joy and nourishment to NorQuest's Indigenous learners

June 12, 2023

Serving joy and nourishment to NorQuest's Indigenous learners

NorQuest learners are being recognized for the incredible contributions they make in their communities. First-year Indigenous Studies student Charlene Hansen received the Edmonton Food Bank’s 2023 Janet Hughes Award in recognition of her efforts in delivering and collecting of food parcels that address the needs of other learners. The program in the Indigenous Students Centre has fed approximately 25-30 students a day and has reached over 600 learners. Through the snack program, hundreds of her fellow learners need not worry about hunger creeping up on them when they visit NorQuest’s Indigenous Student Centre to access the vital resources that ensure student success.

Charlene started at NorQuest by doing some high school upgrading, to enable her to begin her lifelong dream of being a social worker. “I wanted to learn more about my Indigenous ancestry to help further my career in helping people as either a Community Support Worker or Social Worker,” said Charlene. “I hope to be able to help the community in some way.” 

Set to graduate in June 2024, Charlene is most proud of the activities she’s been involved in at NorQuest, including volunteering for the RBC Ambassadors program, serving at Inuit community seasonal gatherings (Christmas and Easter), and starting up the snack program. 

“When I received the Janet Hughes Award, it made me proud as an individual to be able to help others out,” explained Charlene. “Especially bringing something back to the table by helping enrich the student's day-to-day life is the biggest reward I can get. NorQuest makes you feel like you are important, and you mean something. I am proud to be a student at NorQuest.”