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April 28 , 2010

Brescia sets up camp in Barbados

Student making presentationLondon, ON – Brescia University College is taking its successful Girls LEAD camp to Barbados this July. Two Brescia students, an alumna, and one staff member will lead 20 female primary school students through a series of confidence-building activities. Together the group members will explore their own leadership potential in a positive, welcoming, and inclusive environment.

The camp will run from July 5 - 16 at Ursuline Convent School in Bridgetown, Barbados. Dr. Colleen Hanycz, Principal, said Barbados was chosen as the first venue for Girls LEAD International because of a strong existing relationship. “We chose Barbados to be the first to benefit from this program because of our strong alumnae connection there as well as the large population of current Brescia students who are from Barbados.”

International Student Program Co-ordinator Christina Lord will join the three counsellors in staffing the camp in Barbados, and Residence Manager Jacqueline De Leebeeck will continue to manage the London camp as Girls LEAD Supervisor. De Leebeeck said the local camps have been very successful and she expects the same will be true in Barbados. “The camps in London have always sold out and the participants and their parents have provided a great deal of positive feedback. In particular, campers have appreciated the positive environment where girls are encouraged to try new things, be creative, and have fun.”

Programming is divided into the following three streams: promoting physical and mental health; enhancing self-awareness and building self-confidence; connecting with others; and making change. Campers will participate in outdoor activities, active games, discussion, and healthy food preparation.

Founded by the trailblazing Ursuline Sisters 90 years ago, Canada’s premier women’s university has always valued women’s leadership. Brescia offers unparalleled opportunities for women learners from across Canada and internationally to develop their strengths and fulfill their potential. Through the Institute for Women in Leadership (iWIL), a unique Brescia innovation, authentic leaders are fostered to practise a sustainable, collective, and socially responsible form of leadership. The Girls LEAD camp was one of the first initiatives that grew out of iWIL. The camp was an opportunity for iWIL to expand its scope beyond women students and community members to focus on programming geared for young girls in London, Ontario. Both iWIL and Girls LEAD were launched in 2007.

Registrar Marianne Simm said Brescia is excited about partnering with other countries in encouraging young girls to develop their leadership potential. “With three years of experience with the local camp, we feel ready to expand our vision and launch Girls LEAD International. Brescia is fully committed to this project and will be working with the Ministry of Education in Barbados to select the campers.”

Brescia is grateful to the following sponsors for their support of Girls LEAD International in Barbados: Summit International Bank Limited; Barbados National Bank Inc.; and Trident Insurance Company Limited.



Brescia University College, Canada’s premier women’s university college, is affiliated with The University of Western Ontario. The 1,100 women registered as either full or part-time students at Brescia study a wide variety of subjects in Arts, Social Sciences, and Foods & Nutrition in an empowering, compassionate, student-centred, and invigorating environment. Degrees are granted by Western. The Catholic College welcomes students from all backgrounds and values diversity. For more information, please visit


For more information please contact:

Jacqueline De Leebeeck
Residence Manager
Phone: 519.432.8353, ext. 28156

Marianne Simm
Phone: 519.432.8353, ext. 28264