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Ontario Tech acknowledges the lands and people of the Mississaugas of Scugog Island First Nation.

We are thankful to be welcome on these lands in friendship. The lands we are situated on are covered by the Williams Treaties and are the traditional territory of the Mississaugas, a branch of the greater Anishinaabeg Nation, including Algonquin, Ojibway, Odawa and Pottawatomi. These lands remain home to many Indigenous nations and peoples.

We acknowledge this land out of respect for the Indigenous nations who have cared for Turtle Island, also called North America, from before the arrival of settler peoples until this day. Most importantly, we acknowledge that the history of these lands has been tainted by poor treatment and a lack of friendship with the First Nations who call them home.

This history is something we are all affected by because we are all treaty people in Canada. We all have a shared history to reflect on, and each of us is affected by this history in different ways. Our past defines our present, but if we move forward as friends and allies, then it does not have to define our future.

Learn more about Indigenous Education and Cultural Services

Student Leadership Showcase: Sophia Fischer

January 20, 2023

The Peer Leader Program is a peer-mentoring initiative that supports student success and engagement by fostering peer relationships that contribute to the strong sense of community and vibrant campus culture at Ontario Tech University. 

Sophia Fischer was selected as the Peer Leader of the Month due to her active engagement and mentorship. I interviewed her, and she has much to say about her experience as a Peer Leader.

1. Why did you decide to be a Peer Leader?

In my first year, I was extremely overwhelmed and nervous about the transition into university. I found that resources, such as the Peer Leader program, were extremely helpful in easing my worries. For this reason, I decided to become a Peer Leader. I can empathize with the incoming students, as this was me not too long ago! Additionally, I loved engaging with students, staff and our community through Ambassador events, and I wanted to do more. 

2. How would you describe your experience as a Peer Leader?

If I could describe my experience as a Peer Leader in one word, it would be “fulfilling.” Knowing that I am aiding incoming students during a time full of change and potential worry is a truly fulfilling feeling. I love being a friendly face and go-to person my mentees can come to for support and assistance. You take on a leadership and mentorship role as a Peer Leader and represent the school community. The Peer Leader team is like a little family, and everyone supports each other. Being a part of the Peer Leader program has been fantastic

3. What were your goals going into the school year?

Going into the school year, I had both personal and academic goals. I wanted to get more involved and meet new people. I have succeeded in both of these while being a Peer Leader thus far! As for academic goals, I am one of the 2020 Major Scholarship Winners; therefore, I always set a goal to maintain my scholarship status. However, ultimately, my academic goal is to learn, understand and appreciate as much content as possible to become the best nurse I can be one day! 

4. What was the most memorable part of Orientation?

My most memorable part of Orientation was meeting and engaging with all the incoming students! I enjoyed running small group activities with my fellow Ambassadors and Peer Leaders. 

5. What did you learn from being a Peer Leader?

As a Peer Leader, I have learned and had the opportunity to develop many transferable skills. Communication, leadership, mentorship, teamwork, advocacy, initiative and time management skills. I am excited to continue to grow in this role and to develop these skills. 

6. Did you attend any events this month, and if so, what was your favourite part about it?

This month, I attended the Faculty of Health Sciences Alumni Night event. I learned much about post-undergraduate programs and the alumni’s experiences after university. It was very informative, and I am so glad I could attend. 

7. How does the Peer Leader program relate to your personal/professional goals?

All the skills I am developing as a Peer Leader can be transferred and utilized in my future nursing career. Communication, leadership, mentorship, teamwork, advocacy, initiative and time management skills are all needed to be a well-rounded nurse who provides safe, ethical and compassionate care. As for my personal goals, all these skills can be used in daily life, whether managing my individual tasks or conversing with others. 

8. How has the Peer Leader program helped you develop thus far?

The Peer Leader program has helped me develop thus far in my role as a student, as a future professional, and as a person. I have become more confident speaking with and in front of others; I have better time management abilities and have developed my collaboration skills. I am convinced I will take what I have learned from the Peer Leader program in my future endeavours.

9. Would you recommend others to be a Peer Leader? If so, why?

Yes, I recommend the Peer Leader program to others! This is an excellent way to meet new people, support incoming students, develop transferable skills, and represent the Ontario Tech school community!

10. If you look back, is there anything you would change or work on?

Every opportunity should be seen as a learning opportunity. This is my first time being a Peer Leader, and now that I have been in this role for a few months, the second time around, there are things I would do differently. For example, sending a few more emails at the beginning of the year and creating my WhatsApp group sooner for the incoming students to engage with each other. I understand there is always room to grow and improve, and I am excited to continue to do so in this role as a Peer Leader. 

11. How does being the Peer Leader of the month feel?

I am incredibly excited and thankful to be Peer Leader of the month! It is truly an honour to work and learn from such fantastic role models, like my Peer mentors, Manisha and Olivia, and my fellow Peer Leaders! I cannot wait to continue to represent the school in leadership roles such as this, and I hope to continue positively impacting our school community!