Student Success Stories

The following student stories are a good reminder that the most important thing in your work exploration journey is to keep doing things. EVERY experience you have will likely open up new ideas and other new experiences. Whether paid or unpaid, full-time or part-time, the key is to keep engaged!

Jien Hilario

Link to article: I AM ABLE: From Art to Advocacy, an Insider’s View

Jien Hilario is a fourth-year student studying Psychology. She has written multiple articles about volunteerism, rights, abilities and disabilities and is passionate about sharing her story about personal and professional development.

The project started as a joint initiative between the SFU Centre for Students with Disabilities and SFU Career and Volunteer Services. The two departments posted a work position seeking a student to write about and research disability. Hilario jumped on the opportunity, and since then has written over a dozen blog articles for the project. They are being rolled out at SFU’s Online Learning Community.

This story is evidence that trying new things and volunteering to help your community can open up new options and ideas, some of which may be life-changing and can direct you down a path that you never imagined you would be on.

I had never considered teaching as a career until I started volunteering as a Sunday school teacher at my church, and if I had not taken the chance to say yes to this opportunity, I may not have discovered this trajectory that has expanded my career options. When I look at my resume now, quite a lot of my volunteer experience is related to teaching. (Hilario, 2017)

Luke Galvani

Link to Article: Luke Galvani challenges common stereotypes surrounding disability

Luke Galvani has Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy, a degenerative neuromuscular disorder that severely limits his ability to complete all physical tasks associated with both academic and daily life.

During his last year of undergraduate studies, he publicly questioned Translink’s new fare gates, which shut out patrons with disabilities. His advocacy helped lead to a new, more accessible fare gate system.

As well, he worked with the SFU administration to modify the convocation ceremony to make it more accessible to those with disabilities. More recently, he proposed that the University change the way it administers tuition fees for the Terry Fox medal. He suggested that instead of covering tuition for three consecutive semesters, the University instead put a cap on the number of academic credits, which would give students with disabilities an unlimited number of semesters to accumulate those credits. (Luckow, 2017)

Gloria Cheung

Link to article: Working with a Disability

While a disability can be limiting in different aspects of life, sometimes having a disability will give you strengths that no one else will understand or have. 

I know that I am a very creative person. Since I do not enjoy following strict rules and prescribed methods, I use this creativity at work to dream up new solutions to fix problems or to execute tasks.

One of the things I did during my co-op term was creating activities for Mental Illness Awareness Week. Using inspiration from my manager, I helped create Gratitude Walls on every floor of our building to allow our staff to share something they are grateful for to inspire their colleagues. I also used my creativity to help build corporate-wide occupational health & safety training material which will leave a lasting legacy for the years to come. (Cheung,2019)

SourcesSFU School of CommunicationOLC Blog