CBU stu­dent col­lects pledges for a bet­ter world

Cape Breton Post - - NEWS - BY NANCY KING nk­ing@cb­post.com

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.

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