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Seneca College alumna Jo Gomes wins Premier’s Award

Toronto, November 27, 2012 – An outstanding community builder and leader, Seneca alumna and professor Jo Gomes is a 2012 Premier’s Award winner. The Award recognizes college graduates who have made significant contributions to their communities and achieved excellence in their careers.

During the course of her 23-year career, Gomes has held several positions in the social service field, including volunteer co-ordinator, group facilitator, crisis referral worker, health counsellor, employment counsellor and relief worker as well as teaching in Seneca’s School of Community Services. She has volunteered with the Centre for Housing and Accommodations, the Anti-Racism/Anti-Oppression Committee for Yellow Brick House, Pride York, Take Back the Night and International Women’s Day events in York Region.

In addition, four years ago Gomes helped start the Social Service Worker Alumni Jamaica Project, an initiative that sees staff and alumni from Seneca College travel to Jamaica for two weeks to lend their social service worker training and expertise to marginalized groups living in the Port Antonio community of Jamaica.

“We are very proud of Jo and the contribution she has made to Seneca and the community at large,” said David Agnew, Seneca President. “She is a great role model for students and staff alike, contributing her professional skills and knowledge to build stronger communities at home and abroad.”

Gomes graduated from Seneca’s Social Service Worker program in 1987.

“I’m so happy to be able to empower my students to affect change and improve the lives of others,” said Gomes. “That’s what my professors did for me, and I am so happy to be a part of the Seneca community to continue to pass that on.”

The Premier's Award honours the important social and economic contribution college graduates make in Ontario and throughout the world. The Award was launched in 1992 to mark the 25th anniversary of Ontario's colleges.

Presented annually in six categories, the recipients are chosen from nominations submitted by Ontario's 25 colleges. Nominees must demonstrate outstanding career success related to their college experience and have made a significant contribution to their community. Every year, up to six noteworthy Seneca alumni are nominated for this prestigious award.

Since 1992, seven Senecans have received the Premier's Award, including Gomes.

A distinguished panel was assembled to judge this year’s awards, including Kevin Costante, Deputy Minister, Ministry of Government Services; Sue Graham Parker, Executive Vice-President, Global Human Resources, Scotiabank; Mary Jo Haddad, President and CEO, The Hospital for Sick Children; Stewart Hardacre, President and CEO, Habitat for Humanity Canada; Mary Ito, Host, Fresh Air, CBC Radio 1; Gisèle Quenneville, Host, 360, TFO; and Mike Tremblay, Vice President, Public Sector, Microsoft Canada.

With campuses across the Greater Toronto Area, Seneca offers degrees, diplomas and certificates renowned for their quality and respected by employers. Combining the highest academic standards with practical, hands-on learning, expert teaching faculty and the latest technology ensures Seneca graduates are career-ready.

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For more information, please contact:
Seneca College Media Relations   
416-491-5050 ext. 77018