As the first student to represent Child and Youth Studies (CHYS) at the annual Three Minute Paper (3MP) competition in March, Samantha Blondeau and her presentation, “Squeegee Kids Are Not Broken Windows”, captured the top spot. The presentation was also a timely reflection on political passion and personal connection.
“I wanted to convey that we all have stories that are linked to a bigger picture,” stated the third-year Sociology and CHYS student from Trent University Durham GTA. “I was hoping that people would see homelessness is not a divisive issue. It is a social issue that has existed in our society for centuries.”
Ms. Blondeau represented Traill College at 3MP, which is hosted by the Colleges of Trent University and Academic Skills. The competition challenges Trent’s undergraduates from diverse disciplines to showcase their comprehensive research as succinctly as possible. Participants also hone professional skills required for graduate school and future careers.
Ms. Blondeau’s curiosity to further explore her topic was ignited when she discovered research related to squeegee kids in an earlier Social Inequality course. Further motivated by justice-focused classes in CHYS, she conducted year-long research into this reality for youth who experience homelessness. Passionate about her work, she took full advantage of the supports provided by faculty and Academic Skills.
CHYS and Sociology Faculty Supportive of Students
Ms. Blondeau says she was happy for the opportunity to participate in 3MP.
“It’s important to take risks in safe places,” Ms. Blondeau says. “From presenters, to audience, staff, and judges, every single person at 3MP is there to cheer you on.”
Ms. Blondeau, who plans to pursue a Ph.D. and become a professor, says the future looks bright for her and her daughter.
“The CHYS and Sociology faculty are in a league of their own when it comes to supporting students. They played a huge part in where I am today. I want to take what I've learned and effect some bigger systemic change.”
Learn more about Trent’s Child and Youth Studies program, offered exclusively at Trent Durham GTA.