McGill students awarded Pathy Foundation Fellowships

Three exceptional new graduates join a network of leaders and changemakers from McGill and beyond as recipients of this prestigious community-development fellowship program
From left to right: Lil Borger, Chama Laassassy and Shona Moreau, McGill’s newest Pathy Foundation Fellows

McGill students have once again been recognized for their leadership potential, strong ties with community, and innovative approaches to creating change, earning three Pathy Foundation Fellowships for 2024-2025.

The Pathy Fellowship is a self-directed opportunity for young leaders to test and develop their skills in their respective fields while benefiting from a rich support network of driven peers, skilled facilitators and experienced practitioners. Fellows can propose a self-directed project in any field, sector and community, providing them with the opportunity to gain a competitive advantage for their future careers. Each Fellow receives a generous stipend, enabling them to dedicate a year of their early career to a cause and community they are passionate about through hands-on and practical learning.

McGill’s 2024-2025 Pathy Foundation Fellows:

Lil Borger; B.A., Political Science

Community: University Students and Unhoused Individuals in Milton-Park
Initiative title: Relationship Building Between Students and Unhoused Individuals

“I applied to the Pathy Fellowship because I knew I wanted to spend the next year working with my community in Milton-Park, Montreal, but I didn’t know how to make that happen,” says Borger.

Borger’s initiative focuses on creating empathy and action via relationships between McGill students and unhoused individuals through community events, workshops and a centralized platform for neighborhood unity and volunteering. Fundamental to this aim, they plan to gather feedback from students and unhoused populations to understand how they view their current relationships, what they want to change, and how they want it to change.

Upon learning about the Pathy Fellowship, Borger says; “[I] realized this was the perfect opportunity for me to formally develop my ideas, expand my knowledge and network surrounding community work, and spend a year truly getting to know and helping a group of people I care deeply about, alongside a group of other lovely humans doing the same.”

Chama Laassassy; M.A., Second Language Education

Community: Youth at-risk of leaving school and young adults under 25 who have left school in Nador, Rif, Morocco
Initiative title: ISWI: Purpose for at-risk youth

Laassassy  will spend her Fellowship year working in collaboration with her community to create a play-based after-school dropout prevention program, a career hub for out-of-school under-25 youth, and a podcast.

“Upon hearing about the Pathy Fellowship, I felt an immediate resonance with its ethos, which showed a clear belief in the potential of youth to create social impact anchored in community-driven action,” says Laassassy. “More importantly, I could sense it was rooted in a commitment to the ‘by-and-for’ approach, in which I wholeheartedly believe.”

Laassassy looks forward to dedicating a year of effort and resources to her community to bring the vision that they have created together to life. This initiative will center the perspectives of and be led by former dropouts as they work to eliminate school abandonment once and for all.

Shona Moreau; B.C.L/J.D., Faculty of Law

Community: Johannesburg’s Refugee and Asylum Seekers
Initiative title: Empowering Refugees Through Legal Aid Access

Moreau aims to develop a mobile legal clinic for asylum seekers in Johannesburg in collaboration with the organization Lawyers for Human Rights to provide. This initiative builds off Moreau’s previous work in Johannesburg and has been created through the collaboration and input of various regional organizations, advocates, and South African human rights lawyers.

“This initiative, supported by the Pathy Fellowship’s comprehensive resources, mentorship and backing, not only allows me to apply my legal education in practical scenarios but also significantly amplifies the impact of the initiative’s efforts. It ensures that vulnerable communities have access to the legal assistance they deserve, irrespective of immigration status or means.” says Moreau.

“Moreover, being integrated into a cohort of exceptional changemakers and a dynamic network of thought leaders greatly enhances the initiative, creating a collaborative environment that fosters inspiration, support and collective wisdom, thus driving the project to realize its maximum potential.”

Borger, Laassassy and Moreau will begin their Fellowship year in July with four weeks of training covering topics such as participatory community engagement and leadership principles, project planning and management, power and positionality, fund development and more.

After this training period, Fellows will develop and implement their initiatives over the course of a ten-month Community Phase while benefiting from dedicated program support.

Learn more about the Pathy Foundation Fellowship.

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16 days ago

Felicitation ma cherie. Tante Lorraine xo