Finding Your Balance: A Conference for Students with Family Responsibilities

Join us on Friday, May 25th for a conference created to help students navigate the challenges of balancing family responsibilities with education.

Welcoming Remarks: Dr. Lee Maracle

Lee Maracle is a Sto:Loh nation, grandmother of four, mother of four who was born in North Vancouver, BC. Her works include: the novels, Ravensong, Bobbi Lee, Sundogs, short story collection, Sojourner’s Truth, poetry collection, Bentbox, and non-fiction work I Am Woman. She is Co-editor of My Home As I Remember and Telling It: Women and Language Across Cultures, editor of a number of poetry works, Gatherings journals and has published in dozens of anthologies in Canada and America. Ms. Maracle is a both an award winning author and teacher. She currently is Mentor for Aboriginal Students at University of Toronto where she also is a teacher and also the Traditional Cultural Director for the Indigenous Theatre School, where she is a part-time cultural instructor.

Keynote Speaker: Dr. Bonnie Fox

Bonnie Fox taught at Dalhousie, Trent, York and King’s College (UWO) before coming to U of T. She has written and done research on feminist theory, gender segregation and competition in the labour force, workplace restructuring, the development of gender divisions in the transition to parenthood, and the social relations of childbirth. Her books, When Couples Become Parents: The Creation of Gender in the Transition to Parenthood (University of Toronto Press) & the third edition of her anthology, Family Patterns, Gender Relations (Oxford UP) were published in 2009.

1. Time and Stress Management for Students with Family Responsibilities

Is time and time management making you stressed? And stress messing with your time management? In this workshop, designed for students with family responsibilities, we will examine the relationship between time and stress, identify strategies to improve time and stress management and practice some basic skills.

Facilitator: Andrea Graham is a Learning Skills Counsellor at the University of Toronto’s Academic Success Centre.

2A. Money Management for Student Families

Are you a student and struggling to cover the costs of your education and living expenses? Well, you are in good company! Even if your tuition fees are covered by department funding, scholarships or bursaries, living in or commuting to downtown Toronto can be expensive. In addition, you have family responsibilities at the same time that you are investing your time and earnings towards a higher education. No wonder so many are saddled with a heavy debt load upon graduation.

Most students struggle to afford their costs of living during their period of study. This 60 minute seminar will provide you with some important tools to help you manage your money and debt today -and upon graduation.

Topics will include: Budgeting; Optimizing banking relationships; Debt and Tax issues

Facilitator: Monique Madan is a leading fee-for-service financial planner dedicated to helping individuals and companies realize their financial goals.

2B. Taking Your Whole Self to School

All of us have many parts, but students with family responsibilities have perhaps even more. What parts of you never go to school (or are never seen at home)? What feeds your vitality? What if you could bring that energy with you? Using writing exercises and concrete objects, explore the possibility of bringing your whole self to school and home again.

Facilitator: Ronna Bloom is the University of Toronto’s Poet in Community.

3A. Building Your Child’s Self Esteem

Encouragement is more than saying “You’re a great kid”. This workshop will give you the strategies you need to help your child feel self-confident and happy with her or himself —just as she or he is. Research has shown that children with high self-esteem have an advantage in dealing with life’s challenges. Perfectionism, praise, and handling mistakes positively are all examined in this enlightening workshop.

Facilitator: Karen Skinulis is a Certified Montessori Director and has worked extensively as a teacher and a parent educator. She is a co-author of two parenting books and one teacher’s book on classroom management.

3B. Finding “Family Friendly” Work

Learn and plan how to find work that will fit into your life and your family responsibilities. This hands-on session will provide an exchange of career information, ideas and strategies that will help you with all aspects of the career development process such as resume writing and identifying family-friendly employers.

Facilitator: Suhan Hanifa is an Employment Coach at the University of Toronto.

PLUS Leadership Lunchtime Café and FREE Family Marketplace!

Who can attend? UofT undergraduate, graduate students and post-doctoral fellows with family responsibilities.

Breakfast and lunch provided! Free child care, disability related accommodations, or special dietary requirements can be arranged through the Family Care Office.

Sponsored by: Family Care Office, Student Life Programs and Services, Career Centre, Academic Success Centre, First Nations House and Student Family Housing.