MNO Infinite Reach Network
Supporting and inspiring students to realize their full potential
Melanie-Rose Frappier is a Métis high school student from Sudbury who has plans to one day become an orthopedic surgeon. Like many youth her age, Melanie-Rose has worries about the transition from high school to university but after attending the Métis Nation of Ontario (MNO) Infinite Reach program’s March break camp, she realized for the first time that she wasn’t alone.
The MNO Infinite Reach: Métis Student Solidarity Network is comprised of incoming and upper year post-secondary students who have the common goal of working together to enrich and enhance their post-secondary education experience. The program is designed to ease the transition of Métis students to post-secondary education by creating a network of Métis students from across the province that can share experiences and support one another in their academic pursuits.
An integral part of the Infinite Reach Network is to ensure that Métis high school students can accomplish the transition to post-secondary studies knowing they will be supported by members of the Métis community. A key way this is accomplished is through the Infinite Reach March break camp. The camp is designed to engage young Métis students interested in higher education in a retreat that focuses on the benefits of college and university education. Students also learn about Métis history and are involved in cultural activities throughout their stay.
“The camp helped me make decisions and they answered my questions in regards to post-secondary education and the different options available,” said Melanie-Rose. “It’s comforting to know that there are people out there to help me and I have made friendships that will last a lifetime.”
The Infinite Reach March break camp is a great opportunity for high school students to build connections with Infinite Reach facilitators and fellow students before attending post-secondary institutions.
“Melanie-Rose thoroughly enjoyed the camp,” said her Mother Huguette Trottier-Frappier. “They were able to talk about their fears, concerns and worries. It was the first time in her life she didn’t feel alone. She felt more encouraged and excited about the future knowing when she does go to university, she won’t be alone.”
The relationship between incoming students and facilitators and other Infinite Reach community members is determined by the needs of individual first year students. Some students may wish to communicate with facilitators through email for quick advice regarding university life and some may want to meet with their facilitators for coffee or at cultural events. The goal of the Infinite Reach program is to create a community of students who can easily connect with one another.
“Instilling the importance of education is the first step towards something that is truly great,” said Tegan Mandeville, an Infinite Reach Facilitator at Loyalist College. “And you can’t know where you are going in the future if you don’t know where you come from in the past. Being able to help them through this process is pretty amazing.”
MNO Infinite Reach facilitators are upper year students who can offer assistance to incoming students by helping them adjust to university life. They also work to create and maintain a sense of community among Métis students. Throughout the year, Infinite Reach facilitators host cultural and informative events to connect students to the local MNO community councils and to the various programs, services and events of the MNO. The Infinite Reach Network serves as a community of learners with the ability to inspire Métis students to achieve their full potential and provide the support of the Métis community.
“The camp was an experience of a lifetime. I made so many good friendships and I will never forget it,” said Melanie-Rose. “I wouldn’t have wanted to spend my March break any other way!”
Click here to view the MNO Infinite Reach Network website.