Seeds of advocacy sown at a young age



By Christine McLaren

Since the age of fifteen, child and youth care graduate Jonny Morris has been an advocate for youth. While attending boys’ school in Grantham, England, he took it upon himself to assist students experiencing issues with bullying. He launched a campaign for prevention and garnered support from the peer helping program in his school. “I wanted to find a way to mobilize students and support their capacity to make changes for themselves” says Morris.

Having visited Victoria on a number of occasions from his home in England, choosing UVic was easy. “I liked the size of UVic and fell in love with the location where I did not feel like just another number” says Morris.

He was drawn to the School of Child and Youth Care for its unique approach to supporting children, youth and their families. “I found a language, a structure and a way of knowing in the school that fit for me” says Morris.

Upon arrival at UVic Morris noticed a poster for the NEED crisis line and, for the next two years, he worked with a team of volunteers making presentations to youth on suicide awareness. He went on to design a successful prevention education program in his third year practicum placement at Parkland High School in Victoria.

Morris has contributed to campus life as a residence advisor, held an elected position on the student society as a director at large and has  been a student representative on the UVic senate. 

His graduation legacy is the foundation for a students’ council in child and youth care to enhance the qualities of the school, provide peer support and assist in organizing socials and political campaigns. 

Morris was recently awarded the Blue and Gold award for his volunteer contributions at UVic and in the community while maintaining excellent academic standing.

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