Student thank-a-thon caller inspired by donors to support fellow students
When Michelle Madden first arrived at NAIT from Kingston, Jamaica, she was nervous. The campus was much larger than she anticipated. And coming from the beautiful island with “sea, sand and sun practically 365 days of the year,” Edmonton’s cold winter months were daunting to say the least, she says.
Nevertheless, she looked forward to studying Accounting in NAIT’s newest facility: the Centre for Applied Technology. It had just opened the month she attended new student orientation in fall 2016.
“I love how open and beautiful it is,” says Madden, who is her third year of her studies to becoming a Certified Professional Accountant. “When we have group discussions, we have more than enough room where we can sit. There is always something going on in this building with activities to be part of.”
Madden says today life at NAIT is “smooth sailing” and those early days of anxiety are far behind. For one thing, she hasfound a way to cope with winter — dressing in many, many layers of clothing — and she got involved with NAIT’s International Centre.
Donor support has long-term benefits
In November 2017, Madden was selected to become a student caller for NAIT’s first-ever thank-a-thon. Her job was to call donors and thank them for their donations. The experience opened her eyes to the many ways alumni, staff and individuals in the community support the polytechnic and its students.
“The donations to scholarships, Boost the Ooks, or NAIT Fund might seem like a short-term contribution, but it really has long-term benefits,” Madden explains. “There are many students who benefitted or maybe wouldn’t be here today. Each time donors give, they are changing lives.”
Hearing from donors about why they support NAIT inspired Madden to give back herself. She recently donated to the NAIT Fund, a special fund dedicated to scholarships, student spaces and support like mental health counselling.
“What I’m getting here today is something I will take with me wherever I go,” she says. “I always say to donors, thanks for the gift of giving.”
“There are many students who benefitted or maybe wouldn’t be here today. Each time donors give, they are changing lives.”