Five students. Four hours. One assignment. No budget. Over 85 haircuts, sets of clothing, hygiene kits, food, and employment resource kits handed out to men in need. A pretty good debut for what Kimberly Zapata wants to make an annual tradition.
Kimberly, a full-time student at the College and Life Skills Program Coordinator at the Salvation Army Booth Centre, dreamed up “Project Self-Esteem” with four of her fellow Recreation and Leisure Services students as part of the “Great Rec Challenge” assignment given to them by Professor Kimberley Murray. The students – Kimberly, Justine Brophy, Nina Townley, Jenna Shay, and Eric Mcleod – co-hosted the event with the Salvation Army Booth Centre and the Ottawa Beauty Academy as part of their Life Skills Program which launched in August.
“Project Self- Esteem is about enhancing self-confidence amongst homeless men by providing free haircuts and beard trims, business casual clothing and the tools to maintain their personal hygiene with kits,” explains Kim. “Our vision is to promote job readiness by giving our clients a positive sense of outer change. Change can be difficult for many. At The Salvation Army we believe in creating “new beginnings” by motivating, encouraging and supporting each other. We hope to create a sense of well-being and empowerment that encourages the men to apply for a job or volunteer in our community.”
The motto of the project is ”When you look good, you feel good and do good things”. It seems pretty safe to say Kim and her fellow students have done a great thing – kudos to our Rec and Leisure students and to Professor Kimberley Murray for their great work on this project!
Check out coverage on CBC Television Ottawa.