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Jessica Mak

Co-op student plays Santa at Christmas Bureau

December 17, 2007

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As Christmas draws near, organizing toys and food vouchers for more than 1,100 needy families is all in a day’s work for SFU co-op student Jessica Mak.

The third-year economics major has spent the past several months working as a client services assistant at Community Connections, which runs the Burnaby Christmas Bureau.

And Mak says the job has been a real eye-opener. “So many people who come in are low-income,” she says. “I didn’t realize there was such a big problem in Burnaby.”

It’s Mak’s job to qualify the families who wish to register for Christmas toys and food vouchers. But she also must turn away those families whose net incomes don’t qualify – even though “you can see that they need the help,” she says.

The work experience has improved her confidence and her inter-personal skills, says Mak. And she looks forward to the toy pick-up week when all of her hard work pays off, as families arrive to choose toys and stocking stuffers for their children.

Mak plans on several more co-op experiences – in corporate and government organizations - before she graduates.
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