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International Development Alumna Bridges the Gap Between her Passion and Career

From a young age, Clarisse Estebar has always felt strongly about environmental and social issues and spent her time volunteering to help her community.

Her role with the Ministry of Environment was the reason she pursued a degree in Environmental Studies. However, later discovering through her program that social sustainability has a role to play, Clarisse transitioned to pursue Humber’s Bachelor of International Development program.

"I stumbled upon the Bachelor of International Development (ID) program by accident. I was working full time in Central Ontario and taking some time off from school and eventually decided that it was time to return to Toronto and get back in school. I was not sure what program I wanted to pursue but I was looking for something outside of the private sector and luckily, the ID program was still accepting applications," says Clarisse. "The majority, if not all of my professors were international development practitioners and were able to provide relevant and practical insight related to the current state of the development sector. This complemented the curriculum well as they were able to expand and provide current examples of how the theoretical knowledge was applied in development work. Additionally, I was able to attend several workshops, training, and conferences outside of classes, which has allowed me to expand my network and access to resources in the development field."

Currently, Clarisse is the Finance and Program Officer at the International Development Institute part of Humber’s International Centre. In her role, Clarisse supports and manages the customized training portfolio, which includes writing proposals and creating relationships with potential partners for international development programs and experiential learning opportunities for students. She is also in charge of community engagement and events between the local community and Humber. “A lot of the work we do is rooted in the framework of the sustainable development goals (SDGs) set by the United Nations,” Clarisse continues to add that the department’s work is aligned with the SDGs, the Humber Learning Outcomes (HLOs) and strategic priorities outlined in Humber's Strategic Plan.

"ID students are a special group at Humber, and Clarisse is special among them," says John Lewis, Bachelor of International Development Professor and Program Coordinator. "Clarisse and her peers in ID were major driving forces behind many sustainability initiatives on campus, including the push to make the Lakeshore Campus the first fair trade college campus in Canada. She has committed herself to the success of our program and the College, throwing herself into several impressive initiatives both during and after her studies. I especially love how students like her remain connected to the program at Humber by continuing to connect with professors as well as new groups of students."

Clarisse credits the education and previous work experience she has received for empowering her to excel in her current role and sector. "It has been great working in development and staying connected with the program, enabling me provide support and mentorship to some of the students," she says.

Click here read Clarisse’s full feature story and learn more about the International Development Institute’s commitment to sustainability.

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Clarisse Estebar