TOKW fast-forwards students into the future

On the 20th anniversary of Take Our Kids to Work™ Day, a young man from CQSB’s St. Patrick’s High School shadowed none other than the Education minister, Yves Bolduc, while a young woman from EMSB’s Royal West Academy learned what it’s like to be an executive at L’Oréal Canada.

Zachary Roberge with the Education minister, Yves Bolduc

Zachary Roberge with the Education minister, Yves Bolduc

Wednesday, November 5 was a day to remember for Zachary Roberge and Selena Laneuville. On that day, they joined the 250,000 grade 9 students across Canada who visited the workplaces of parents, friends, relatives and volunteers in the context of Take Our Kids to Work™. The event is organized annually on the first Wednesday of November by the national education charity, The Learning Partnership.


“It’s hard work and takes guts.”


Selena Laneuville with L’Oréal’s Kristin Armstrong

Selena Laneuville (right) with L’Oréal’s Kristin Armstrong

Zachary Roberge attends Secondary III at St. Patrick’s High School in Québec City. In the hours he spent with the Education minister, he absorbed much about the life of a politician, the huge network of people that work behind the scenes and the actual functioning of the National Assembly beyond the clips we see on TV. He also discovered that the minister’s heavy workload allows him only four hours of sleep a night. “You have to have vision and lots of drive and passion to do it,” says Zachary.

“The experience really made me think,” he adds. “I have personally criticized politicians without understanding how devoted you have to be to the job. It’s hard work, yet you’re criticized all the time. It takes guts.”

L’Oréal visit made a huge impact

Meanwhile, some 250 kilometres away in Montréal, Selena Laneuville was making the most of her opportunity to visit the offices of L’Oréal Canada and to spend time with Kristin Armstrong, vice-president and general manager for the company’s Kiehl’s brand. The experience made a huge impact on the Royal West student and was a perfect complement to the Personal Orientation Project (POP) course in which she is enrolled. (The whole purpose of this course is to help students learn more about themselves by exploring different career possibilities. At Royal West, the course is also given in French, mirroring another reality of the Québec workforce.)

POP teacher, Lynn Bourdeau, shares a little of what Selena told her about her fantastic day. “She was especially proud because two of the people she met gave her their business cards and it made her feel the day was really part of something in her future. It is definitely the highlight of her POP course.”

Even if the 2014 event is now behind us, teachers can start planning for 2015. The Learning Partnership’s online Teacher Guide provides educators with ideas for extending the spirit of the day by incorporating career-focused discussion and activities into their subjects in a relevant way.

– With a report from the EMSB’s Travis Hall

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