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Building a Community Library

Q&A’s with Alain Lavoie

What community/communities are you part of ?
A community is a group that you can identify with and develop a sense of belonging. This innate feeling was really felt when I arrived at the Université de Moncton and in the city of Dieppe where I still have the opportunity to grow as an individual. Coming from a small town in northwestern New Brunswick, Grand Falls, I never asked myself the question what is a community? With my various commitments since I started university, including #RisingYouth, I have had the opportunity to develop my own vision of the word community and I am grateful every day to be part of many communities.

#RisingYouth has allowed me to get to know many young francophones across the country who have a similar goal as I do, which is to contribute to the growth and development of their community. Often sharing the same values such as social justice, the environment and more, we, the youth, have the opportunity to achieve these goals through RisingYouth grants.

How did the idea for this project come to you?
Day after day, year after year, I felt powerless to help my community because of the lack of resources available to me. As a 4th year student in Elementary Education at the Université de Moncton, it is very obvious that educational resources such as books for internships are not accessible to everyone. People who do not have the financial means could find themselves without resources at their disposal and those with more means had this huge advantage of having them. So, I wanted to limit those disparities and allow all students and future generations of students to have equal access to those resources.

From there came the thoughtful idea of creating a resource library for people studying in education. I was just looking for that opportunity to take the first step and I heard about the #RisingYouth grants, which captured my interest. With the help of these grants, I was able to purchase many children’s books from a local bookstore and offer a job to a young carpenter to create this library for me.

How did your community react to your project?
This project idea was very well received by the faculty, and to this day, they promote its existence to new students. I must admit that my most memorable moment of this project was probably the illuminated face of the lady in charge of the local bookstore when I told her that I wanted to encourage her enterprise. Her gratitude took the significance of my project to another level. After all, this library takes up my primary goal of contributing to my community.

How has the project impacted you in your everyday life?
An important element of my project is its infinite continuity. Even though this one was created during a pandemic period when few students were accessing the campus, it is reassuring to know that this library will be able to reduce the financial worry of students for decades to come.

What would you say to a youth who is thinking about doing a #RisingYouth project?
Daring is often the most difficult step when you want to make a difference. To all the young people like me who want to change the world for the better, dare to take that first step and don’t hesitate to apply for a #RisingYouth grant. Receiving the resources to make that difference has never been such an easy and enjoyable process.

Anything else you would like to add?
I must make a special mention to #RisingYouth, who welcomed me with open arms into their community and, since that day, has given me many opportunities to surpass myself as an individual and meet young people across the country who are now considered friends.



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