One of Lethbridge College’s longest-running student clubs is looking for new opportunities to continue supporting southern Albertans. The award-winning LEO Club has regrouped after having its activities affected by the COVID-19 pandemic over the past two years and is actively searching for new volunteer opportunities.
The LEO Club was founded in 1977, with "LEO" standing for Leadership, Experience, Opportunity. The club is made up of students from the college’s Criminal Justice – Policing, Correctional Studies, Natural Resource Compliance and Conservation Enforcement programs and links itself to the goals and priorities of those programs. In the two years immediately prior to the pandemic, LEO Club members provided volunteer support to about 43 community events.
“The LEO Club has over 50 members who are active and looking for volunteer work right now,” says Afaf Osman, LEO Club President and a second-year Criminal Justice – Policing student. “As we come out of the pandemic, we've been very slow, a lot of our events have been cancelled and we're just really excited to go back and start helping our community, start implementing what we've learned in our classrooms, and actually start making a difference in Lethbridge and helping businesses with our services.”
Traditionally, the LEO Club has completed about 1,300 hours of community volunteer work each year and donated between $7,500 and $9,500 annually back to the community. The LEOs have offered volunteer services in a variety of ways, including drive-home services from events, volunteering at the Lethbridge Soup Kitchen, providing volunteer help for community events such as the college’s Coulee Fest and Kodiaks Athletics games, and participating in the Coulee Clean-up.
With a large group of members ready to be activated, the LEO Club is a great solution for event organizers in search of volunteers.
“Our whole mission is centred around altruism and helping people,” says Osman. “It's something we're very proud of, it's something our students are committed to, and they're dedicated to this cause. Each of us is a part of it because we really want to make and see a difference.”
The LEO Club was honoured with a Colleges and Institutes Canada Student Leadership Excellence bronze award in 2020 for its many community contributions.
In the 2019-20 academic year, the LEOs supported the Lethbridge College Students’ Association Food Bank, YWCA Lethbridge and District, Lethbridge Boys and Girls Club, Lethbridge Ability Resource Centre, Lethbridge Schizophrenia Society, Lethbridge Big Brothers/Big Sisters, Lethbridge Family Services and Lethbridge Police Victim Services. In addition, the group has supported Wounded Warriors Canada and collected money to make tuition payments for a student in Sierra Leone.
To speak to the LEO Club about volunteer opportunities or to learn more, you can visit leoclublc.com.