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Making positive change in the community

Graduating student will help support individuals healing from intergenerational trauma.

Photograph of Prishni Seyone
Prishni Seyone is the Queen's recipient of the Pathy Foundation Fellowship, a 12-month self-directed experiential learning opportunity for graduating students who are making change and strengthening communities anywhere in the world. (Supplied photo.)

Graduating Queen's student Prishni Seyone, who will receive a BAH in History and a Certificate in Business from the Smith School of Business, will spend the next year building her non-profit organization, as the university’s recipient of the Pathy Foundation Fellowship.

Her organization, Starts with Youth, aims to build community by creating an open dialogue about abuse and trauma among children and youth, creating a path towards healing.

The Pathy Fellowship is a 12-month self-directed experiential learning opportunity for graduating students (masters or undergraduate) from across five partner universities (Bishop’s, McGill, University of Ottawa, Queen’s, and St. Francis Xavier) who are making change and strengthening communities anywhere in the world. Fellows are provided with comprehensive training, dedicated ongoing support, and up to $40,000 to make a sustainable impact in their chosen community and to support their growth as active and effective leaders and change-makers.

“The Pathy Foundation Fellowship gives me the opportunity to further develop an organization rooted in an important, urgent cause with compassion, enthusiasm, and expertise,” says Seyone. “I greatly value the holistic resources offered by the program, where I am provided with the funding necessary to build Starts with Youth.”

Seyone founded Starts with Youth during her time at Queen’s and the team is currently made up of a number of her Queen’s peers. The organization works to foster conversations surrounding trauma and abuse, including through a blog comprising several in-depth interviews and conversations centering around journeys to healing. Starts with Youth also promotes trauma-informed teaching by gathering together resources and information for educators.

“The core idea behind Starts with Youth came from both my personal and volunteer/work experiences with trauma,” says Seyone. “We strive to foster community amongst survivors and allies through social media and our website and hope to also introduce in-person opportunities when safe.”

This year, the Pathy Fellowship is adopting a blended training delivery model due to COVID-19. Fellows are also adapting their projects to ensure the safety of their communities during the pandemic, while maintaining the impact of their projects.

The Pathy Fellowship is also expanding its outreach and opportunities for any students interested in community leadership. In addition to summer information sessions about the fellowship, including faculty-specific sessions, interested students can attend workshops on topics such as leadership and community development. Dates and times will be posted to the Queen’s Pathy Foundation Fellowship website.

Applications for the 2022-23 fellowship cohort will open in September 2021 and will be due mid-November. Learn more about the Pathy Foundation Fellowship, and eligibility here.

Learn more about Starts with Youth.