Student Superheroes: Changemakers in the Kingston community

Queen's students nominate friends who dedicate their time to the Limestone City

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You don’t need to watch every Avengers movie to know that most superheroes keep their identities secret. Though they help save people from everything from bus crashes to super villains to giant aliens, they usually do so while disguised in spandex suits complete with a mask. Thankful citizens can throw them a parade, but it’s hard to thank someone you’ve never seen. 

This month, The Journal wants to pull the mask off some of Queen’s own superheroes. In our second article of the series, we’re featuring two students who have made a difference in the Kingston area.

Their friends have nominated them for all the time they’ve given back to the Queen’s and Kingston community. Instead of throwing a parade, they wanted to share all their heroic deeds and tell them just how important they really are. 

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“Prishni Seyone is the perfect example of a student superhero. From her extracurricular experiences at Queen’s to her personal and professional endeavours, Prishni always goes above and beyond to ensure that everybody is taken care of.

Prishni was a Prison Literacy Initiative Volunteer with Queen’s Students for Literacy where she worked with inmates, providing them with tutoring sessions and a cheerful smile. She also works with Students for Literacy’s Literacy Outreach program in coordinating volunteers that foster reading, writing, and arithmetic skills in Kingston youth living in women’s shelters. This year at Queen’s, Prishni is a supervisor at the Peer Support Centre. In this role, Prishni works to ensure that there’s a safe space on campus for students to receive support, resource referral, and assistance.

Her other accomplishments, to name a few: ASUS Research Recommendation co-chair, ASUS After School Buddies fundraising coordinator, Student Life Centre staff member, and co-president of the History DSC. She’s constantly looking out for others, whether it’s her peers, her friends, or absolute strangers—she’s always happy and willing to go the extra mile for those around her.

Most recently, Prishni founded Starts With Youth, a club at Queen’s which runs a blog dedicated to raising awareness for intergenerational trauma and abuse. Its mission is to foster conversations about the effects of abuse and trauma.”

Josh Saltzman

“I met Samara Lijiam in my frosh group in first year, and she’s been one of my best friends ever since. I know that I can’t do her justice through my writing, but I’ll try my best.

Sam is one of those people who does it all, though she doesn’t see it like that. I see Sam as someone who does a fantastic job of balancing her life as a student with her involvement in campus clubs, hours spent volunteering, and a part-time job on campus. Samara is part of nine clubs on campus, and is also incredibly involved in the Kingston community.

Sam is a young political volunteer the office of Kingston’s member of Parliament, Mark Gerretsen. She met Mark through her involvement in the Queen’s University Liberal Association, and she volunteers at his office twice a week, where she’ll be interning this summer.

Samara volunteers at Martha’s Table local community kitchen within Kingston’s social welfare network. Once a week she helps out in the friendship room, which is a place for community members to go for coffee, tea, snacks, and conversation. Sam’s involvement in the community lends to her character as a caring and engaged human being that I try to emulate.

I cannot think of anyone who works harder than her to benefit so many people on campus and in the Kingston community. Samara will absolutely be in the newspaper on your coffee table in a few years, so remember her name.”

Martha Hillen

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