Many of you describe Southridge as a ‘second home’ and have returned for regular visits since graduating. Not only do you enjoy catching up with former teachers and staff, but you never miss an opportunity to engage with younger students and share your knowledge about life after graduation.
In a typical year, we would be welcoming you for in-person events and gatherings, held during university breaks or when professional schedules allow. Indeed, annual events, such as Career Day for students in Grades 11 and 12, have seen increased alumni participation over the years and we have heard from students how valuable those interactions are. Of course, during a global pandemic, plans had to quickly change and the Southridge Alumni Association pivoted to virtual experiences with the help of many alumni volunteers this year! Although it’s been a different year, it has been just as meaningful and we are thankful for the many alumni volunteers who embraced this new “normal.”
Alumni Fireside Chats – In February, alumni from the Class of 2020 joined us for the Fireside Chats: Virtual Edition. While it was not the same as the in-person event, this new version allowed current Grade, 12 students, to see the inside of a university dorm room, check out the “real” technology supporting post-secondary class delivery, and discuss the challenges of transitioning into post-secondary during a pandemic.
Alumni University Presentations – Many Grade 12 students were disappointed to lose the opportunity to travel and see potential post-secondary campuses on their university short-lists, so our alumni stepped up and brought the experience to them. Alumni hosted five presentations about different campuses, including Berkley University, Carnegie Mellon, University of Pennsylvania, University of Manchester, University of Leeds, and the University of New York!
Career Days 2021: A Virtual Alumni Speaker Series
In a typical year, Career Day is a highly anticipated event for both alumni and students. It’s normally a fun day that allows our students to learn about post-secondary institutions and career pathways during a full day of interactive sessions with alumni professionals.
Last week, fourteen alumni participated in delivering virtual speaker presentations to give current students advice about career paths and professions, including law, medicine, aerospace engineering, computer science, environmental science, nursing and midwifery, and entrepreneurship. During four of these sessions, current Grade 10, 11, and 12 students were also able to question the panelists, live on Zoom, about alternative post-secondary paths and requirements for a possible career in these categories.
Although we missed the “buzz” of the traditional Career Day experience, with the support of teachers, students, and alumni, we embraced the opportunity to connect virtually and learn about the diverse pathways of our alumni!
Thank you to all the speakers who helped support this event.
To view the eight alumni speaker series videos, please click the links below:
Becoming a Lawyer: Alumni Law Professionals
Featuring Kahlil Jessa ’07 & Arjun Hair ‘12
Careers of the Future: Aerospace and Lunar Engineering
Featuring Joshua Rasera ’08 & Hugh Podmore ’08
Starting Your Own Business: Alumni Entrepreneurs
Featuring Elaine Van ’06 & Kevin Reid ‘08
Working in Healthcare: Alumni Medical Professionals
Featuring Dr. Amit Kainth ’06 & Justin Buttar ’13
Studying in the USA
Featuring Devin Ma ’18 & Kai Lung‘18
Working in Healthcare: Nursing & Midwifery
Featuring Taylor Sonnenberg ’11 & Kelsey Martin ’08
Environmental Science: Geology & Geochemist
Featuring Ryan Lick ’11 & Cassia Armstrong ‘14
Careers of the Future: Computer Science
Featuring Dr. Chris Elder ’10 & Jason Lee ’06