By Emily Smith van Beek
My name is Emily Smith van Beek. I am a student in the International Support Worker (ISW) program. I graduated from Dalhousie University with a Bachelor of Arts, including a double major in Political Science and Sociology and a minor in Film Studies. I am a socio-political junkie, advocating on behalf of social justice issues and human rights. I am also an aspiring film director/screenwriter/international development worker, and perhaps one day, the Prime Minister of Canada.
When I graduated from Dalhousie, I was just another undergrad applying for any job I could get my hands on. I did not stand out in the international community. I chose to further my studies at Loyalist because the College’s one-year post-graduate ISW certificate program combines in-class learning with real life, hands-on experiences. It is the only one of its kind in Canada.
For me, the selling point was the internships, which will provide me with opportunities I could never have dreamed of before. The international internships will be my gateway to a career in the international development and humanitarian sector. Through a group internship in Chiapas, Mexico and a second, individual internship in Gambia, I will learn how to build capacity and strong, sustainable communities around the world. The new knowledge I acquire through experiential fieldwork will make me a stand-out candidate for rewarding job opportunities in international development.
My passions lie in working to empower women worldwide, specifically within Sub-Saharan Africa, to alleviate poverty through education and eliminate the HIV/AIDS pandemic. I strongly believe in long-term, sustainable and measurable development, and that is why I am thrilled to have the opportunity to be a face and social presence on Loyalist’s new sustainability site!
When we hear the word ‘sustainable,’ the most common association is with the environment; but sustainability is a much broader term than that. I’m hoping you’ll continue to follow me and join my conversations on environmental, social and cultural sustainability as I travel through Latin America and Africa! I am excited to touch on subjects like food security, sustainable and organic farming, environmental issues, community building, international travel, and so much more! Check back weekly for my updates. I hope to hear from you too in the comment section below.