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Two Generations of Miramichi Residents Create Impactful Learning Experience for Students

Two generations of Miramichi residents have come together for what some might see as an unlikely collaboration. What started as an experiential learning program, however, has turned into a more meaningful experience for everyone involved.

Beginning last April, Grade 11 and 12 students from James M. Hill, Miramichi Valley, North and South-Esk Regional, and Blackville high schools were invited to enroll in an ‘Introduction to Nursing & Healthcare’ program. Unlike your typical high school course, the program is an experiential learning initiative which takes students outside the classroom and into their community.

The course is offered through the Anglophone North School District ICE Centre, a career education centre in partnership with NBCC and Working New Brunswick. The course is one of several career focused experiential learning courses offered through the ASD-N ICE Centre. All courses are offered to grade 11 and 12 students where they spend two hours per day, for a full semester, exploring a possible career path in their community. The ultimate objective is to provide students with the opportunity to get better understanding of future career options.

The experience has opened the students eyes to the world of future health care career possibilities available to them in their own community. Students have the opportunity to meet and work alongside a variety of health care practitioners giving them a unique perspective on healthcare careers.

“I have found the whole thing interesting and have been amazed at all the different jobs, machines, and rooms,” says Grace Girouard “One job that really caught my attention was the Nurse Practitioner. I feel like if we get to shadow for a day that I would be really interested in what a Nurse Practitioner does.”

For Bridgeview Hall, the inclusion of the students has been a very positive addition.

“We have been fortunate to have some ICE Centre students with us,” says Amanda Quinn, Manager of Health Services at Bridgeview Hall. “Our residents and staff are thoroughly enjoying their interactions with these students. It is nice to have new and innovative ideas shared by our youth and it is experiences such as these that will help students navigate how they would like to continue learning in their very bright futures.”

In addition to the career exploration opportunities offered to students, the partnership with Shannex sparked a new project, capturing the life stories of Shannex residents. The project tasks students to create video productions capturing the life stories of residents of two Miramichi-Shannex Senior Homes. The two locations involved include Bridgeview Hall and Losier Hall.

The program was created in collaboration with New Horizons for Seniors, Employment and Social Development Canada, and Anglophone School District North. This work is supported by New Brunswick’s Department of Education and Early Childhood Development and Future NB, which serves as a catalyst for many exciting learning opportunities for young and old.

“The seniors in the Miramichi region have benefitted from intergenerational activities with students from Anglophone North School District, with many students choosing to continue with the relationships they develop in school by volunteering after graduation,” says Jeff Swaine of Shannex Losier Hall. “The process of creating and sharing life stories is therapeutic for residents and is a great opportunity to share with younger generations how our seniors were once young themselves and helped build the world we live in today.”

The Future NB initiative fosters collaborative relationships between the business community and students across New Brunswick. Through experiential learning, students gain real world experience while contributing to the development of their community.

Partnering with Future NB on their efforts is RBC, who have made investing in experiential learning a key component of their RBC Future Launch initiative. RBC Future Launch is a $500 million commitment to bringing young people together with community leaders and partners across the private and public sectors to help youth prepare for the future of work.

For more information on experiential learning opportunities in New Brunswick, interested employers and students can check out more success stories during RBC Future NB Week from January 24-28, 2022 at https://futurenewbrunswick.ca/.