BY: ASHELLY SMITH
Dionne Morrison-Jaisinghani is not an ordinary international student. She is an academic-achiever and lover of volunteering. She came to Canada a few years ago from Jamaica to study Human Resources at Seneca College. In the island of Jamaica, she lived in a district called Guava Ground in Clarendon. Her parents were farmers who worked diligently to send Dionne to school in her hometown. She successfully completed secondary school and shortly after, she entered the workforce.
She worked in customer service at Jamaica’s National Commercial Bank; she started as a scanner operator and showed good work ethics which got her promoted. She was now a customer service supervisor. This was a stable and highly-valued job in Jamaica so why did Dionne leave such a job to study in Canada? Her brother was badly injured on a Canadian farm work program. His leg was broken and he was unable to work so Dionne and her husband migrated to Canada to give him family support.
She is a mature international student who enjoys her school years at Seneca College where she has received several awards. She received the college’s prestigious award, the Stephen E. Quinlan Award for her significant academic achievement, strong personal integrity and volunteer service in the community. She also received a scholarship from the human resources professionals association last year. She is highly involved in her school as she is an orientation leader, a SMILE mentor and a participant in the Seneca Leadership Program, Business 411 and Seneca Serves. In fact, she is the president of the Human Resources Student Association.
“At Seneca, I feel like I matter, I feel important,” said Morrison.
“Seneca is a great school. Seneca has some of the most amazing professors who take time out for students to have a one and one conversation”
Some of the teachers she gave credit to are: Professor Frank Robbins from the School of English and Liberal Studies, Professor Alfonsina Chang program coordinator of the Human Resources program, Professor Sidonie Bell from the School of International Business Management along with many other professors that she is appreciative for.
Dionne’s moral value is to love and respect each other; this was a moral behaviour that her parents instilled in her. As a child growing up, her parents were her role models, she said her parents did not have much but they were always giving a helping hand. Being taught this valuable lesson, she now has a passion for volunteerism. She has contributed to her local community, giving her time to the City of Toronto programs, the Wheelchair Relay Challenge, the Canadian Cancer Society, the On Common Ground Music Festival, The Daily Bread Food Bank and Good Shepperd Ministries.
Doing volunteering work, striving for academic excellence, working part-time and being a family supporter is a heavy load of work on one’s agenda; but for Dionne, it is manageable but challenging. During her busy periods, she has her husband’s unwavering support. Dionne described her husband to be an extremely supportive and motivating spouse.
“Sometimes, he would say honey its okay, don’t worry about cooking dinner just focus on your school assignments” she expressed.
Having her husband as her right-hand makes a huge impact on her performance academically and voluntarily.
When asked what is one of her aspirations for the near future this was what she had to say:
“I don’t want to be rich, I just want to be able to live comfortably and have a good job and impact people living in a good way.”
If everyone had the same aspiration, just imagine how different our society would be. She further shared that:
“I realized that a lot of children who are growing up have no respect. They are all about themselves.”
She strongly believes that parents need to raise their children in old-fashioned ways which include spending quality time with their children and instilling good values in them. She believed that family is very important in a child’s development.
Her last message to the present generation is: “Be respectful, treat others as you would like to be treated. Life has a funny way of turning around so be careful of whatever you do, do it well and do it right”