News Release Archive

In April, Dennis Murphy-Odo approached the Pictou County AIDS
Coalition with an offer the organization could not refuse. The
20-year-old sociology student would work for the organization

Mr. Murphy-Odo was able to make this offer thanks to the Student
Loan Employment Program, an initiative of Nova Scotia Economic
Development and Tourism. The program is available to
undergraduates who receive a student loan in the current academic
year and who plan to return to school full-time.  

Under the Student Loan Employment Program, students must apply to
Economic Development and Tourism for funding by mid-February.
Once the application is approved, it is their responsibility to
find an employer who will provide job experience related to their
field of study. The unique element to the program is that at
least 60 per cent of the students' pay is held back and applied
to their tuition in the fall. 

Mr. Murphy-Odo learned of the program through the student
placement office at St. Francis Xavier University and immediately

"The tuition thing is a really good idea --it's A-1," he said.
"If the money is gone, you can't spend it. So, it's waiting for
you and you're not panicking over every cent that you spend."

Once his application was approved, he approached the New
Glasgow-based Pictou County AIDS Coalition and was hired as a
researcher/office assistant.

Edward LeBlanc, coalition board member, said the program gave his
organization a chance to hire a student for the summer, an
opportunity it may not have had before.

"A lot of non-profits tend to rely on certain programs to help
them along," said Mr. LeBlanc. "This program is important because
it gives us the means to hire more people."

Mr. Murphy-Odo said the program is giving him valuable work
experience in human relations, in dealing with people and their
problems. He also feels the program is providing him with an
opportunity to work in a "real life" setting while applying his
university training. 

"It gives me an idea of the nuts and bolts," he said. "University
isn't the most practical place. So when you get here, into the
nitty-gritty, you really find out what it's all about."
Mr. LeBlanc likes the program because it places responsibility of
the employer search with the student. "They try to sell
themselves on their skills, and I like that."

"It's really an enlightening experience," said Mr. Murphy-Odo,
who has gained valuable skills for university and his career
--skills in such areas as event organization, conducting training
sessions and office administration.


Contact: Angela Campbell
         Economic Development and Tourism

NOTE TO EDITORS: Colour photos available upon request.

ngr                  August 25, 1997 - 8:47 am