Open Circle opened my heart to serving marginalized populations


Celebrating 20 Years of Diversity: where are they now?

Alumni share how Student Open Circles influenced their life path

by Sonika Kainth, Open Circle alumni, family physician with marginalized communities at Parkdale Queen W. Community Health Ctr.

In 2007, during my Frosh week I was walking around learning about all the different student clubs at McMaster, when I came across Student Open Circles. Mindfulness sessions and volunteering where I can reflect afterwards? I knew I found the right group for me. I loved the diversity of Open Circle; it made the bubble I lived in a bit bigger. I got to meet other students that were at different stages of their lives - doing their Master’s or PhD while I was still a tiny first-year. I got to meet students from astronomy to social sciences. And finally, through volunteering, I became introduced to various marginalized individuals which opened up my heart and brought me to where I am today. Newcomer high school students and I, though we spoke different verbal languages, were able to work on mathematics together. Young kids at Dr. Davey elementary school came into where I volunteered to have breakfast. I saw how heterogenous their parents were, yet they had one thing in common - difficulty affording meals for their children. These students changed how I viewed the world and are one of the main reasons why I now work with marginalized populations similar to them. So, how am I Celebrating 20 Years of Diversity? By remembering that Student Open Circles introduced me to all the diverse groups that I work with now :)