King's Herald - Spring 2013

Page 17

James Prince ’11 cites his experience at King’s as the spark that ignited his passion for global community building, a mission that he achieves through his work with Me to We. Written by: Kaleigh Rodgers | Photography by: Maria Hunt

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oming from the small town of Caledon, Ontario, the slightly larger size of the community at King’s was an adjustment for Prince, but one that he welcomed. Through his experiences both inside and outside of the classroom, Prince developed a great appreciation for the power of community. “I grew up in a small town and went to a small public school. The King’s community helped me understand and appreciate that with a supportive environment as your foundation, you can do anything,” reflects Prince. It was this sense of community, fostered by the guidance of faculty members, that truly defined Prince’s experience at King’s. “I appreciated the support from professors and the ease at which I was able to form relationships with them,” says Prince. “They would always catch me in the hallway and show an interest in my success.” Academically, Prince excelled at King’s and graduated as class valedictorian with a double major in Philosophy and Political Science. His success also extended to his involvement in extracurricular activities, acting as the vice president of King’s University College Students’ Council, orientation soph for three years, and head soph for one year.

specifically the ways that both the university and Me to We encourage people to seek opportunities for service. While Prince has come to love the supportive, passionate, and engaging environment at Me to We, he didn’t always aspire to employment in the social enterprise sector. Originally, he envisioned a career in business or law, but after working in door-to-door sales he decided

to explore more fulfilling employment that was not purely financially focused. “I realized that I needed to follow the appreciation of community that I gained at King’s in a global sense,” explains Prince. His position at Me to We involves facilitating educational volunteer trips to Kenya. On these trips, he plays a multifaceted role as a teacher, mentor, health and safety advisor, and

building construction supervisor—amongst other responsibilities. The goal of these trips is to inspire attendees to become globally aware while completing Free the Children volunteer projects, such as the construction of schools and water wells. During the off season, Prince takes on additional jobs within the organization as needed. In the past year he acted as event engagement coordinator, and this year he has been granted the opportunity to act as the Me to We merchandise coordinator for Nelly Furtado’s The Spirit Indestructible tour. In the coming years, Prince intends on facilitating additional trips to Kenya, and perhaps Ghana. Looking forward, he is open to continuing his work with Me to We, but also intends to continue his education with a graduate degree in law or business. Prince sees the value of continuing education amongst the upper management at Me to We, and aspires to one day hold a similar position. Prince has been able to fulfill his passion for helping to develop the kind of rich community that he experienced during his time at King’s. He suggests that anyone seeking a socially impactful career should continually seek opportunities to become involved and that all efforts to effect change, regardless of scope, will ultimately compound. “Be ok with doing a little job and don’t think you’ll affect the community in huge ways right away. It will eventually pile up and it will work itself out,” advises Prince. “I am where I am because I started to volunteer in my first year. All of my experiences at King’s helped me to get where I am today.” PHOTO: Claus Andersen

In addition, he was active in many clubs and intramurals at Western, but his most rewarding accomplishment was establishing the King’s Cobras, a women’s flag football team. He explains that King’s was the only affiliate College at Western that did not have a team in the women’s flag football league and he was touched by how empowering this team became for all women involved. Prince began working for Me to We, an innovative social enterprise that provides products and experiences in support of the charitable initiatives of Free the Children, in 2012. He was inspired by the mandate of the organization and appreciated how closely their mission is aligned with the spirit of King’s;

The King’s Herald | spring 2013 17