A natural and promising commitment

Feb 19, 2016 by Énergir in Community
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Organizational or individual, ongoing or periodic, financial or human—civic engagement is fundamental to community life. Living not just for oneself but in a spirit of solidarity for society as a whole. Believing in a cause and contributing toward an overall sense of well-being. Civic engagement is all this and more.

Over and above our community investment program, which promotes foundational projects and initiatives to help improve the quality of community life, it is employees themselves who engage in the community by donating their time to causes that are important to them.

As we all know, poverty is one of education’s worst enemies. With our head office rooted in a low-income neighbourhood, we have been focusing on the issue of education for many years. Through our flagship initiative, Ruelle de l’avenir, a unique place where elementary school students can learn required subjects through thematic workshops, where the concept is to learn while having fun. By participating in sporting challenges like the 2015 basketball tournament in aid of the Pour 3 Points organization to encourage student retention through support from sports coaches who become personal mentors. Or by helping recruit mentors for the Academos organization. Every aspect of education is placed front and centre through a number of corporate, team and individual initiatives.

It all starts at a young age

Through an employee initiative dating back more than 15 years, the Hochelaga school advocacy committee has developed a solid, mutually supportive relationship with the school near our head office. Comprised of 10 employees and one school teacher, the committee meets a dozen times a year to coordinate activities in aid of the students. Career day, Christmas party, support for school sports, fund-raising events and animal therapy are just some of the projects organized to provide stimulating and memorable moments in the lives of neighbourhood kids. Committee members seize every opportunity to offer rewarding activities for the students at the Hochelaga school. During Hooked on School Days, the committee organizes a chain of encouragement by inviting the students’ peers to write words of support, which are later handed out to the students.

Direct contact with high school kids

The Bleu études project was set up based on the finding that Énergir can help counteract the school dropout phenomenon through direct contact with adolescents, helping them persevere and obtain their high school diploma. In summer 2014, a partnership was established with École Chomedey-De-Maisonneuve as part of a pilot project. Teachers rearranged the class schedule to incorporate Bleu études periods, and project mentors presented their educational backgrounds to the students. Welders, mechanics, plumbers, electricians… an enthusiastic team convinced that the Bleu études project could help motivate young people to complete their high school studies introduced them to the various Énergir jobs by way of classroom presentations and day-long internships at our offices.

The best proof of their success: the smiles on the youngsters’ faces and the number of students participating in the Bleu études internships, which more than doubled this year!