Promoting access to Queen's in the community

Life After High School

Promoting access to Queen's in the community

Student Equity Ambassadors share information and their campus experiences with local high school students and their families.

By Communications Staff

January 9, 2024


Student Equity Ambassadors presenting to Kingston community members.

Student Equity Ambassadors presenting to Kingston community members during the Life After High School event.

Feb. 1 is the last day prospective undergraduate students can apply to Ontario universities, including Queen’s, for admission in fall 2024.  

For the past few months, staff in Queen's Undergraduate Admission and Recruitment (UAR) have been visiting schools and communities around the world, talking about all the university has to offer.

Close to campus, Student Affairs staff recently joined representatives from the UAR’s Access and Inclusion unit and student Equity Ambassadors at a local high school to help connect the Kingston community with insights into navigating post-secondary education. During the event, Equity Ambassadors shared information about Queen’s, their campus experiences, and how they financed their education with grade 11 and 12 students from across the Limestone District School Board and their family members .  

The Life After High School event offered the 150 attendees a choice among 10 different sessions, with Queen’s giving presentations about OSAP and how to finance post-secondary education, a day in the life of an Equity Ambassador, the university’s Promise Scholars, and Commitment Scholars programs, and supports for Indigenous students.  There was also time for attendees to speak and connect with participants one-on-one and in small groups.  

“Events like this really help demystify the university experience, especially among equity-deserving communities and students who would be first in their family to attend post-secondary. We are continually working to raise awareness about the options and opportunities that exist at Queen’s,” says Richard Mitchell, Manager, Access and Inclusion. “Our sessions were very interactive. We got a lot of questions, and having our student ambassadors talk about their path to Queen’s can have a significant impact, exposing youth to what’s possible and achievable.”

Ore Maxwell is a second-year Bachelor of Health Sciences student, a Commitment Scholar, and Equity Ambassador. In addition to attending events like this one, she participates in webinars and workshops, including online and in-person sessions with Queen’s 23 community partner organizations from St. Catharines to Ottawa, which work to increase post-secondary education participation in underserved communities.

“Speaking with prospective students and their parents is one of the most fulfilling ways I spend time as an Equity Ambassador, and as a Queen’s student. I am absolutely passionate about sharing tips, and 'been there, done that' insider information to help fill the knowledge gaps that students, especially equity-deserving students may encounter,” says Maxwell. “Going out in the Kingston community was a thrilling experience, and I enjoyed speaking with students who were curious about post-secondary education. By sharing valuable information, my personal goal is to create an unwaveringly inclusive and supportive environment for all students on their journey to further education. As I speak with prospective students, I think about my younger self, and how much she would have appreciated hearing from a university student who was willing to share her experiences. This is what drives me to continue.”

Queen’s has been transforming its financial aid programs to prioritize need-based funding to help increase access to the university. The first cohort of Major Access Award recipients began their studies this past fall. This new award provides $10,000-$18,000 per year for four years to 100 incoming undergraduate students with the highest financial need. It is part of a longstanding commitment that also includes the Promise Scholars, Commitment Bursary, and other admission bursaries, the First-Generation Student Admission Pathway, and the Indigenous Student Admission Pathway.  

The deadline for prospective students to apply for the Promise and Commitment Scholars Awards as well as admission bursaries is Feb. 15.

Learn more on the Undergraduate Admission and Recruitment website.

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