This semester I took a class that talked about society and how we can make it a better place. I had to write a paper on being an Agent of Social Change and I wanted to share a bit of it with you.
My life revolves around helping people. It has always been something I strive to do. I spent my high school career volunteering in my community. I joined a social movement – “an organized collective activity to bring about fundamental change in an existing society” – and ran an “EPIC Book Drive” to send books to fill the libraries that were destroyed by Hurricane Katrina. I collected over 10,000 books with a team of seven other students. I spent 500 hours one summer volunteering at local fairs, food drives, and soup kitchens. These actions are examples of social change because I was feeling a need within my society. Soup Kitchens, food drives and community centers cannot run without volunteers. By volunteering I was able to support people who needed hope. I was able to feed hungry and offer warmth for homeless individuals in Windsor.
Fast forward to present day… I run a blog called Defying Shadows that discusses Mental Health, stigma and self-help with a team of seven other women! This blog supports those who are struggling and the loved ones who are supporting those who struggle. Furthermore, I have spoken at youth groups and college classes about finding your purpose and Mental Health. I consider this an example of social change because by facing the stigma head on, I can raise awareness and support those who feel like they have nothing. These actions impact society in a very positive way by offering people of all ages, ethnicities and gender a sense of hope and encouragement.
To be an agent of social change is to take matters into your own hands rather than assuming someone else will do it. Being an agent of social change is seeing a problem, a concern, or an issue and deciding to deal with it, fix it and make sure others do not have to struggle through it alone. Social change can be defined as the “significant alteration over time in behavior patterns and culture, including norms and values.” I think being agents of social change is a very important concept and one each of us needs to take more seriously. For me personally, being an agent of social change is my purpose in life; my one constant goal. It is so important because we can envision change and a perfect world, but if we take no action to see it through, then we will never get there. I believe that every person is responsible for becoming involved in social change, as one person cannot change the world, but if each person did their share, the world would become a better place. I know this sounds clique, but there is a very serious truth to this concept. Imagine if each person in Canada skipped their daily coffee for one day and donated that money to end homelessness within the nation. There are 35, 160, 000 people in Canada. The prices of coffee vary depending on where you purchase it from, but for the sake of this example let’s say each coffee is $3. That is $105,480,000 that would be donated to help the 200,000 homeless people residing in Canada. Pretty crazy right? And all we have to do is skip our coffee for one day. The results would get even bigger if we make a bigger sacrifice. This is why being an agent of social change is so important.
Nichole is a Social Media Marketing Manager, student, daughter and friend. She’s working on her Marketing Diploma and has a Certificate of Christian Theology. She is an avid coffee lover who enjoys a good movie or book. She takes great joy in organizing, scheduling, and volunteering. Her passion for volunteerism extends specifically to those who are hurting, whether it is emotionally, physically, or mentally.
Nichole is certified to provide Mental Health First Aid, which means she can provide immediate support and guidance in a safe environment, comfortably have a conversation about mental health related issues and offer professional and other supports. This does NOT make Nichole a psychologist, or a counselor. It simply gives her the tools to direct people to the help they need.