Recreation Integration Victoria named UVic Co-op Employer of the Year


- Joy Poliquin

Recreation Integration Victoria (RIV) has been named the 2011 Co-operative Education Employer of the Year in recognition of the organization’s outstanding contribution to student learning.

Since 1989, 63 UVic co-op students have completed work terms with RIV, and a total of 165 UVic students have engaged with the organization through a range of work experiences. RIV provides socialization, life skills and respite opportunities for people with disabilities through community-based leisure and recreation activities. While students who work for RIV are typically studying kinesiology or recreation and health education, students from a wide range of academic programs have contributed to the organization as inclusion facilitators, leisure assistance coordinators and in other roles.

RIV recently conducted a survey of its past and present employees to measure how their experiences influenced their career paths and everyday outlook. Eighty per cent of respondents reported that they learned to actively advocate for people with disabilities and 40 per cent agreed that their experience at RIV influenced their decision to seek further related education. Co-op students agree: those who have worked at RIV have overwhelmingly reported that their experiences positively impacted their motivations and their lives.

More than 1,200 employers hire University of Victoria co-operative education students every year; in 2011, 14 were nominated for the Co-op Employer of the Year award.

RIV will formally receive the 2011 Co-op Employer of the Year award at an Employer Appreciation Reception on Jan. 24 in Victoria.

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Keywords: co-op

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