This is a guest post, written by a placement student from Justice Studies at the University of Guelph-Humber. It has been shared with permission.
What an experience it has been to be apart of the OJEN team this year! As a placement student, working with OJEN has opened my eyes to a lot of things in the real world especially in the justice field. OJEN fulfilled both of my wishes, which was to work with youth and educate them, while I am still getting to learn and teach the justice component. This year as a placement student with them I got the opportunity to facilitate two of the in class projects which were policing and society and also youth voices which was a new project that was created this year. In both projects students had the chance to learn and express their needs and concerns about issues that are happening in their community and issues that arises with policing. In my observation with both projects, I can say that majority of the students had a problem with racial profiling and police powers. Some had questions about police officers having too much power and how much force do they need to use, when there is other methods to use. The students were well engage in all the topics that were discussed and helped me learn a lot of things that I didn’t know before.
One thing I loved about working with OJEN was the fact that I got to meet a lot of professionals in the field that I am studying. Many of those professionals gave me great insight on future careers and how I should prepare myself for them, which was a great opportunity. Meeting with different professionals like lawyers, police officers and justice of the peace’s have opened my eyes to many things in life, showing me that there is a lot of opportunity out there if I just put my mind to it and work hard at getting it. I honestly would recommend anyone to work or volunteer their time at OJEN because it does give you opportunity and chance to develop skills within the justice sector. If you are a person that is interested in justice issues, laws and being an advocate, OJEN is the place to be!