Team work makes the dream work!

With the recent IGNITE Election and all the spirited campaigning we saw across campuses, it’s certain you’ve heard about IGNITE’s Board of Directors. Still, for those of you who didn’t get a chance to do a deep dive into who they are, they essentially spearhead communication between IGNITE and students like you at Humber College and University of Guelph-Humber (UofGH).

The board is tasked with important responsibilities like governing the affairs of IGNITE, identifying and setting its strategic direction, and approving all major decisions that affect how the organization represents students. As we prepare to extend a cheery welcome to the 2024–2025 Board of Directors, we spoke with a few members of the outgoing board to hear if they had any words of wisdom for their successors. On a more personal note, they shared how the role had impacted them personally and professionally, shedding light into the opportunities that working with IGNITE can offer.

“Collaborating with the Board has been an incredible journey. From day one, it’s been inspiring to see their growth and evolution, and I can’t help but feel a sense of pride looking at where they stand now. I’m confident that they’re poised to become the leaders of tomorrow in their respective fields.
Throughout their tenure, the Board has shown unwavering dedication to prioritizing students in every decision they make. Their commitment to the growth and betterment of IGNITE has been evident at every turn,” says Lionel Campbell, Board Administrator.

“As we near the end of their term, I’m amazed by their tireless efforts and their willingness to go above and beyond for the organization. It’s been a privilege to work alongside them, and I have no doubt that they’ll continue to make a positive impact wherever they go.”

With no further ado, let’s hear from the amazing Board of Directors!

Jenny Trang

An image of Jenny Trang, IGNITE BoD.

Reflection: On a personal level, being a Board of Director has allowed me to establish many new relationships with like-minded individuals that are interested in enhancing the student experience. Particularly, I’ve enjoyed being able to see all the hard work and collaboration that goes into executing various events and initiatives for students. Professionally, being a Board of Director has allowed me to gain a variety of skills that I will be able to apply after my post-secondary journey including financial literacy, good governance, strategic planning, and decision-making.

Advice: One piece of advice that I have for the newly-elected Board of Directors is be confident when sharing your thoughts and ideas. I know personally, the Board of Directors was something very new and different from anything I had ever done before so there was a lot of imposter syndrome at the beginning. But just know that you deserve to be on the board and make these decisions, as your peers trusted you to advocate for them. There are also many individuals at IGNITE that are here to support you who have extensive knowledge in their area of expertise, so don’t be afraid to ask them questions if you are ever unsure of something.

Jasmine Bates

Image of Jasmine Bates, IGNITE BoD.

Reflection: Serving as a Board of Director for IGNITE has been one of the most impactful experiences of my life, both personally and professionally. It has been incredibly rewarding to represent and advocate for our student community, contributing to meaningful change. This role has also significantly expanded my network and enhanced my skillset in leadership, governance, and ethical decision-making.

As my tenure on the board concludes, I see it not as an end but as the start of my ongoing journey in student advocacy and governance. I am grateful to the students who entrusted the board with their hopes and concerns this year, and to the exceptional IGNITE staff whose dedication is integral to our success. Thank you for this invaluable opportunity to serve and grow.

Advice: My most important piece of advice is to approach your decisions with patience and thoughtfulness. It’s essential to thoroughly analyze every decision through the lens of the student body’s experiences and perspectives.

I also strongly encourage you utilize the support network available through IGNITE. Ercole Perrone, our CEO, and Lionel Campbell, our Board Administrator, have played crucial roles during my time on the board. Their wisdom, support, and recommendations have been invaluable in improving our experiences as BoD’s. Do not hesitate to seek their advice and lean on their expertise for insightful guidance!

Shanell Roye

An image of Shanell Roye, IGNITE BoD.

Reflection: Reflecting on my tenure with the IGNITE Board of Directors, I found the experience profoundly transformative, personally and professionally. It honed my time management skills and enhanced my leadership abilities, strategic thinking, and collaborative work. Engaging with diverse perspectives within the board cultivated my adaptability and problem-solving skills, preparing me for future challenges in any professional setting.

Advice: To the newly elected Board of Directors, I urge you to remain steadfast in your journey. You’ll need to think strategically, balancing the students’ needs with the organization’s objectives. Leverage the resources at your disposal, including the expertise of IGNITE staff, the information on the IGNITE website, and other credible sources. Remember, you serve a diverse student body, including domestic and international students. Your decisions should reflect and respect this diversity, aiming to enrich their academic and social experience at the institution. Teamwork is not just encouraged, but it is also essential for achieving our collective goals and addressing the multifaceted challenges faced by our student community.

Navjot Singh

An image of Navjot Singh, IGNITE BoD.

Reflection: First of all I am thankful to all the students who elected me as a Board of Director for IGNITE and gave me a chance to raise their voice. My time as a Board of Director bring significant changes to me personally and professionally. I raised the voice of students in front of higher authorities and government representatives which helped me to gain more leadership qualities.

Advice: My advice to newly-elected Board of Directors is that they have to work as a team and stay connected with students on campus. They have to bring students concerns to the table, so they can be discussed in Board Meetings and actions should be taken.

Kimberly Almeida

An image of Kimberly Almeida, IGNITE BoD.

Reflection: My journey as a Board of Director (BOD) has been a learning experience that has helped me and my fellow BODs develop skills in governance and strategic thinking, leadership and advocacy, decision making, future direction,  and loyalty to IGNITE, and the Student Body. Reflecting on my time as a member of the Board, it has been impactful and inspiring. The opportunity to support our Humber and Guelph-Humber Student Body helped us be a voice to represent them through IGNITE.  

Through being involved with the board, under the direction of IGNITE, I value the experiences gained from the opportunities to discuss student concerns and meet with organizations like the CSA, and with members of Humber College, where our collective direction was to foster positive change to support students.  Through the mentorship and support provided, it has greatly helped me grow in my role and exercise my duties responsibly. 

Advice: I extend my congratulations to the 2024-2025 IGNITE Board of Directors. All incredible students with a passion to support our student body. My advice to you all, is to try your best, and be brave. During your term, you may face challenges, and you may make mistakes. These are part of your learning and growth. Learn from them to grow into your role and exercise your duties responsibly. 

It may seem daunting to have new responsibilities to take on as the new operating board. Sometimes you may feel overwhelmed and doubtful, it’s all right. Remember to be brave and know your supported and cared for at IGNITE.  As the new board, trust each other, and do your best to be your best, to represent the students of Humber and Guelph-Humber. 

A heartfelt thank you!

An image of actor Keanu Reeves blowing a kiss at the audience.

As the curtains draw to a close on their tenure, the outgoing members of IGNITE’s Board of Directors have shared insightful reflections that resonate with gratitude, growth, and a commitment to student advocacy. Their personal journeys highlight the profound impact of their experiences within IGNITE. From fostering new relationships to honing leadership skills, from amplifying student voices to navigating complex governance structures, each member has contributed to a legacy of service and dedication.

The advice offered by these outgoing members serves as a guiding beacon for the incoming 2024–2025 Board of Directors. Moreover, as the new board steps into their roles, they inherit not just responsibilities but also a wealth of wisdom from their predecessors. Here’s to the incoming board, may their tenure be marked by innovation, inclusivity, and unwavering dedication to serving their fellow students. Best of luck in the endeavors that lie ahead, from me and the entire team at IGNITE!

Feature image via IGNITE

Curious about how IGNITE’s Board of Directors are elected and what the experience was like? Check out our chat with 2022-2023 BoD Parul!