2023 STUDENT LEADERSHIP AWARD WINNER
Caitlyn Massad is currently a student attending St. Clair College, in Windsor Ontario, and is enrolled in the Honours Bachelor of Applied Arts in Social Justice and Legal Studies program, scheduled to graduate this spring. Caitlyn’s active involvement at St. Clair College spans a number of leadership roles in both academic and volunteer capacities. She worked as an academic tutor for several years on campus as well as volunteered her time as a peer mentor for new students entering the Social Justice and Legal Studies program. Caitlyn has achieved academic distinction each semester while continuing to seek new opportunities to expand on her skills beyond the classroom. In 2021, she assumed a role as a Student Researcher in the Research and Innovation department at St. Clair College, collaborating on a three-year NSERC funded Social Innovation Fund grant, concentrating on literacy interventions for families and children in low-socioeconomic communities. Her role as a student researcher is a combination of community engagement, data entry/analysis, and report writing, which has allowed Caitlyn to develop hands-on skills in advocacy and community collaboration. Caitlyn has further honed these skills through several volunteer positions she has sought out, in order to support the needs of her community. She is a passionate volunteer at an organization called Windsor Family Homes and Community Partnerships, wherein she serves as a food bank worker and programs assistant. One of her greatest accomplishments in this position entailed successfully assisting in the writing of a grant to secure new funding for community services. Additionally, she volunteers as a Community Mediator, and she is also in the process of designing an identification bank for the homeless population in Windsor, in collaboration with a local counselling and advocacy centre, Family Services Windsor-Essex. Her leadership in the academic and larger community also encompasses being a Student Affiliate Member with WE-Spark Health Research Institute; she has presented at conferences and has been awarded for both verbal and written presentations of her work.
Caitlyn is always striving to look for different and better ways to enhance the community around her. She is a trailblazer amongst her peers, most notably as the first St. Clair College Student accepted directly into law school. Caitlyn wants to make a difference in the community; she experienced first-hand living in a low-income family and understands systemic inequities that are in need of change. Her humble background has made her always want to give back to her community in any way possible. She never lets anything get in the way of her dreams and believes that with hard work and dedication anything is possible.