CBU student collects pledges for a better world
PORT MORIEN — Jill McPherson has come out on top in an Atlantic Canadian campaign looking to attract pledges from people to work to create a better world.
The Port Morien woman, who is in her final year of studying anthropology and political science at Cape Breton University, and the team she put together won the top prize in the Active-8! campaign. It is held each year by the Atlantic Council for International Co-operation in conjunction with international development week.
McPherson noted she was nominated for the campaign by a friend, JCI president Mark Sparrow, because he thought she met the criteria of being an active global citizen. She is a busy volunteer and chair of the CBU students union representative council.
After being selected as one of eight global youth ambassadors in Atlantic Canada to lead the effort, she put together her team, including Sparrow, Phillip Campbell, Stephanie Bagnell, Nicole Bond, Andrea Allaire, Ashley MacDonald, Kristin MacNeil, Allison Haley, Lee-Anne Broadhead and Caelin Gillis. Together, they managed to obtain more than a quarter of the 1,600 pledges made during the three-week campaign.
“It was a pretty sustained effort on all of our parts, because at first we were nervous with such a short time frame, but it actually kind of worked to our benefit because we were all so energized with the campaign,” McPherson said.
The pledges McPherson’s team sought weren’t monetary. Instead, they requested pledges of action. Pledges included joining international non-government organizations, making the effort to support local business, or were aimed at the environment, such as using reusable water bottles, making use of public transit or taking the stairs instead of an elevator.
“I think it’s a way to get more involvement of the community and to spread awareness around issues of international and local development,” McPherson said. “It kind of, I think, creates a better message, rather than just asking for a donation.”
While they were pleased with the number of pledges, she added the team was even happier in getting people to think about how they can improve their community, locally and globally.
McPherson said she hopes to go to St. Mary’s University in Halifax next year for graduate studies in international development.
The team decided to donate the $1,000 prize to Haiti relief efforts.
The Atlantic Council for International Cooperation is a coalition representing more than 70 organizations, institutions and individuals working in international development, global sustainability and social justice.