Trent Student Honoured with Prestigious Volunteerism Award
May 5, 2007
Sue Reynolds Presented with 2007 June Callwood Award for Outstanding Volunteerism during May 28 Ceremony in Lindsay
For Trent student and single mother, Sue Reynolds, being recognized by the Ministry of Citizenship and Immigration as one of the recipients of the 2007 June Callwood Award for Outstanding Volunteerism was both an exciting and humbling experience.
Ms. Reynolds was presented with the prestigious award, named in honour of June Callwood, a renowned Canadian journalist, author and social activist, on Monday, May 28 at a ceremony at the Lindsay Armoury. She was honoured for her groundbreaking volunteer work teaching creative writing to criminalized women in the Lindsay jail.
"Throughout my youth and adulthood I was aware of June Callwood both as a journalist and an activist - particularly for women's and children's issues. As a writer and a person interested in social justice issues I'm both delighted and humbled to have my name paired with hers in this way," Ms. Reynolds said. "Wonderful as it is to be recognized, doing the program with the women in jail is its own reward. I get as much (or more) out of that experience as any of the inmates who participate in it."
The June Callwood Award for Outstanding Volunteerism is presented on behalf of the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration on an annual basis and is in recognition of individuals and groups that have made an exceptional contribution to volunteerism in Ontario. Often, these award recipients have shown exceptional leadership, innovation and creativity. Only 20 recipients are chosen each year.
Ms. Reynolds graduated from Trent last year with an honours degree in Psychology. She returned to Trent this past academic year to take more courses, including a creative writing course at Trent in Oshawa. In the fall, Ms. Reynolds will begin a Master’s degree through the Frost Centre for Canadian Studies and Native Studies at Trent University. In addition, she has also received a grant to offer a creative writing program to criminalized women who have been released back into the community.
Prior to coming to Trent as a mature student, Ms. Reynolds enjoyed a 12 year career in retail clothing and a 16 year career as a graphic designer. She made the decision to undertake her university degree at the age of 47, seeing it as an opportunity to "reinvent" herself.
Her volunteer work with the female inmates of the Lindsay jail began during her second year at Trent. She applied the experience to her undergraduate thesis, which consisted of research into the womens’ experiences with the creative writing program and the effect it had on their time in jail.
Reflecting on her time spent at Trent so far, Ms. Reynolds says: "My university experience has been way more than I ever thought was possible. I can’t say enough about Trent – it is an incredible place."back