QCSV President and Vice President
Updated: Nov 15, 2019
Alicia Mora, the current President of QCSV, has been working with QCSV for four years. Alicia’s grandmother was a painter who taught offenders art in a maximum-security prison in Belgium for a large part of her life. “She was the primary reason I got involved with QCSV and was my inspiration for the art class programs that I started four years ago,” Alicia says regarding her decision to join the club.
Having spent the past 4 years coaching volunteers, establishing programs such as art classes, resume writing workshops, interview workshops, supporting both high and low need offenders with literacy issues, as well as inspiring creative initiatives for offenders, Alicia believes her commitment and dedication have had a positive impact on helping offenders both in the institutions, as well as in the community.
In 2019, Alicia was awarded The Taylor Award, which is presented annually by CSC and the National Volunteer Association to a volunteer who has shown exceptional dedication to the Service. Alicia expresses that being the youngest individual to ever have been awarded and recognized on a national level in CSC has by far been her biggest accomplishment within QCSV.
“I was nominated and actually won without any of my prior knowledge, so when I was pulled into a CSC staff meeting and told the good news I just couldn’t believe it! It felt great for all my hard work over the years to be appreciated but knowing that I did it without the goal of being awarded makes it even more meaningful.”
Alicia continues to strive to inspire others to be open-minded and compassionate when working with reintegrating offenders, as well as facilitate the expansion of the club.
Kyra McGovern, Vice President of QCSV for the past two years, emphasizes that her passion for understanding criminal behaviour motivated her to join the club. “I have always believed in the value of rehabilitation and positive human interactions as a means to facilitate community reintegration and decrease recidivism rates. I believe our club promotes these values!” Kyra said.
Kyra has taken part in art/hobby craft classes at Joyceville, Henry Trail, and Millhaven, as well as having participated in community accompaniments, teaching a few of the employment workshops, and helping one of the Program Officers at Henry Trail by working directly with offenders in her class who need help with literacy skill development.
Kyra highlights the value of human interactions when working with offenders, stating
“When an offender has someone who truly cares about their recovery and well-being, they are held accountable and they develop a desire to succeed.”
She feels her interactions with the offenders humanizes the experience and eliminates the stigma of offenders as solely violent individuals.
“People are often surprised to hear I almost never feel afraid or unsafe while in the institutions.”
Kyra claims there is nothing more gratifying than being able to witness an offender progressing in their programming or social interactions, and the reality of understanding an offender’s background and the circumstances which led them to commit a crime is the best way to gain a full picture of who they are. “For me, I think this is the most insightful aspect of our work and it is one which makes me very proud to be a part of this organization” Kyra says regarding her involvement with QCSV.
In terms of club programming, Kyra will be starting some exciting initiatives at Millhaven Institution this year, some of which will include mindfulness classes and a mural initiative, with the goal to have all these programs up and running before the end of this semester.