Jenn McIntyre

Photo of Jenn McIntyre
Degree Title: 
BA Honours, Major in ID with Area of Emphasis in Latin American Studies
Graduation Date: 
2009
Life is full of surprises, and one of the greatest surprises is discovering where a degree in International Development Studies will lead you. I started the program as a young person passionate about social justice and diversity and graduated a few years older and with little sense of my place in the big, beautiful and messy world we live in. Six years later, I feel really honoured to have found my place in Romero House, a little community in the west end of Toronto (www.romerohouse.org). It has been a journey of taking risks and saying yes, which I imagine is a common experience for many IDS graduates. 
 
A few months after graduating, I moved to Toronto for a one-year internship of living with and walking alongside refugees at Romero House. It was an opportunity that I come across on the IDS listserv, which is a fantastic resource for students. That year enabled me to transform abstract theoretical concepts that I explored in university into practical ways of living in and with the world. I found my passion in welcoming and advocating with refugee claimants seeking safety in Canada. Of course, one-year internships tend to come to an end, so I moved on to the next thing, which was a harvest season as a CRAFT intern on an organic farm near Creemore. 
 
After a couple of months of farming, I found myself back in Guelph working with Guelph Campus Ministry, a faith-based community on campus. I worked with students for three years, including working as a Local Learning Coordinator with Student Life for one year. However much I loved supporting students, I knew that my passion was in welcoming refugee claimants. So I left two great jobs and headed back to Toronto as a Master's of Theology student at UofT and as a neighbour and volunteer of Romero House. A year later, I very unexpectedly found myself faced with the opportunity to step into the position of Director at Romero House. I now live and work in a vibrant community of people from all over the world who are seeking a better life for themselves and their families. 
 
I feel very lucky to have a sense of my place in the world. I am ever grateful to the IDS program for pushing me to think critically and for offering opportunities to learn while travelling and while doing. Most importantly, I learned alongside a cohort of passionate people who care deeply about their local and global community.