St Mary's student steps up to lift barriers to education
For some people, philanthropy begins when they're adults but for others, it begins very early and lasts a lifetime.
Jaden Baragar is a university student in Calgary and has been trying to make life better for others since she was little.
Baragar is working towards a degree in education at St. Mary's University and will resume her volunteer work in support of its Humanities 101 course when classes begin.
“Humanities 101 is a course for low income adults who have experienced barriers to learning. So it gives them free courses, free hot meals, free bus passes, and at the end they have a certificate,” said Baragar.
She has put her support behind the program because of what it does for those who take the course.
“It allows them to be more confident and go into the world and hopefully get a job and pursue their dreams that they never had the chance to before,” she said.
Baragar also loves books so she started a book club at St. Mary's that focuses on books by Calgary authors so she can get them to speak at events and do book signings on campus.
Those events have helped her raise more funds for Humanities 101 but her philanthropic passion goes well beyond the university's campus.
She uses Operation Christmas Child as a means of teaching young children philanthropy.
“I work in before and after school care and I’ve worked at two other schools and when I do that I try and find activities that they can be really involved in rather than just raising money so for example we did Operation Christmas Child and I’ve done it for three years and in three years I’ve raised, well we've raised 270 shoe boxes.”
Joan Baragar says her granddaughter’s desire to help people started at a very early age.
“When she was a little girl and I had this man coming and he had a walker and he was having trouble getting up the front steps and she was three years old and she went on, I’m getting emotional, she went out on the step and said, can I help you?”
For all she does to make life brighter for others, Jaden Baragar is our Inspiring Albertan this week.
For more information on the Humanities 101 program, click HERE.
(With files from Darrel Janz)