News Release Archive

Helping others is often times the best way to help yourself.
Sonya Mahar is proving that this summer.

The 21-year-old psychology honours graduate of Acadia University
is gaining valuable work experience while helping women in need.
She's employed at New Glasgow's Tearmann House, a home for
battered women. Ms. Mahar learned of the Nova Scotia Employment
Program for Students position at the local employment centre.

At Tearmann House, she is involved with a child-care program that
allows children to talk openly about family life at home. As
youth counsellor, she is gaining the experience needed for the
counselling training program she is taking next year at Annapolis
Campus, Nova Scotia Community College. She is also busy in the
areas of advocacy and support for battered women.

Ms. Mahar has previous work experience with various social
groups, including as a volunteer with the mentally challenged for
many years. However, she felt she needed more counselling
experience to further her plans.

"This is more for me," said Ms. Mahar. "I hope to open a private
practice and this is the experience I need."

Ms. Mahar said she decided not to focus on wages, but rather the
experience an employer could offer in the field of psychology.
"This is the kind of experience I need in order to get into a
master's program and to pursue a career in it," said Ms. Mahar.

Karen O'Hara, executive director of Tearmann House, said the
program benefits both the workplace and the student. "We really
need the extra help in the summer, and we provide a very good
opportunity to students in terms of experience."

Ms. O'Hara said she feels the experience Ms. Mahar is gaining
will be an asset to her when applying to enter a master's
program. "If you have the kind of work experience we can offer
here, it helps."

The Employment Program for Students is an initiative of Nova
Scotia Economic Development and Tourism. Under the program, once
an employer receives approval for a project, he or she does the
hiring and is reimbursed for part of the student's wages.

Ms. Mahar said the program has made essential on-the-job training
possible for her and, at the same time, is allowing her to save
money for tuition.


Contact: Angela Campbell
         Economic Development and Tourism

NOTE TO EDITORS: Colour photos available on request.

trp                      July 29, 1997 - 1:10 p.m.