Nurturing Student Success: First Year Students Network

The First Year Network (FYN) is a group that consists of first year students in the local Jane and Finch/Black Creek community attending York University that was created to develop a peer network among first year students. The network nurtures skills that first year students will need to succeed in university, as well as builds upon leadership skills that are developed in local high schools. They are provided with exclusive support such as access to mentors in third year and above, free monthly dinners and ongoing support through the York University-TD Community Engagement Centre. On June 26th 2015, the York University-TD Community Engagement Centre had a welcome dinner for the first year students which included the Red Zone Leaders and keynote speaker, Talisha Ramsaroop, engaging students in discussion about being a York University student and growing up in Jane and Finch. It was a great opportunity for students to interact with each other and learn about the transition into University.

During the summer, a series of monthly workshops were held for FYN students aimed at providing students with resources, connections, and information to ease the transition into York. The first workshop was held on York University’s Keele campus which consisted of a campus tour and a Q&A session over lunch with staff from the Vice-Provost’s office. The second workshop held was facilitated by Karen Warner,Manager, Scholarships and Bursaries. The session focused on detailing the new changes with OSAP as well as important things to know about York Internal Awards. Students were also given an opportunity to sit one on one with Karen to ask specific questions pertaining to their individual situation.

“The First Year Network is an example of how the York University-TD Community Engagement Centre is responsive to the needs of the local community,” says Nathan Stern, Community Projects Coordinator. Stern, who oversees the program as part of his role with the CEC, says that demand is high for the program, and that students are benefiting from the extra services and are also assisting in growing and making FYN better, session by session. “We don’t see these students as clients; we see them as co-creators whose voice impacts the resources we bring to the table. Through FYN, we hope that students will be successful not only in their first year but through graduation and into further studies and future careers.”
For more information on the First Year Network please contact Nathan Stern,Community Projects Coordinator, at 416-736-2100 ext. 20318, or by email: nstern@yorku.ca.