Pro Bono Students Canada Receives Reach Canada Volunteer AwardPro Bono Students Canada (PBSC) was presented with Reach Canada’s annual Ramon John Hnatyshyn Volunteer Award on June 8, 2007.
The Volunteer Award is in memory of former Governor General and Honorary Chairperson of Reach Canada, Ramon John Hnatyshyn.
(L to R): Renee Smith (National Coordinator, Pro Bono Students Canada) shakes hands with Joshua Clarke. Michael Sousa (far right), President, Reach Canada presented the award.
Joshua Clarke, a third-year Common Law student, accepted the award on behalf of Pro Bono Students Canada and the Faculty of Law. He stated, “Reach Canada helps people with disabilities navigate their way through Canada’s legal system by providing educational programs on recurring challenges and also through lawyer referral. I have primarily partaken in the referral service and find it to be a truly valuable experience. It would be difficult to perform this job without some legal training. That is why Pro Bono Students Canada and the University of Ottawa’s Faculty of Law are so invaluable to Reach Canada.”
2006-07 marked PBSC’s 10th anniversary, and the program is now present in every law school across Canada. uOttawa’s PBSC program is one of the largest in the country, and they are continuing to grow in size and scope. This past year, the Common Law Section had 150 student volunteers placed with 60 organizations in Ottawa, Gatineau, and surrounding communities as well as several long distance placements.
(L to R): Renee Smith, Melissa Charles (Coordinator Pro Bono Students, Civil Law), Professor Martha Jackman, Joshua Clarke, Nicolas Brunette-D'Souza, Stacy Keehn (Co-Manager Student Services), and Professor Jackie Huston
Courtney Fitzpatrick, Coordinator of uOttawa’s PBSC, noted, “We are honoured to be awarded the Ramon Hnatyshyn Volunteer Award by Reach Canada, one of our longstanding partner organizations. Normally, this award is given to lawyers who personify excellence in volunteering their expertise and time to clients with disabilities. This year, Reach has decided to recognize the students of PBSC, both past and present, along with the program coordinators. We are very proud to receive this important award.”