Meet the HCuO Team: Gloria Charles-Pierre

Name: Gloria Charles-Pierre
Program and Year: Lettres françaises et Langue des Signes Québécoise, 4th year  
Hometown: Laval, Quebec
Sorority: Zeta Theta Xi
Position: Collegiette French Editor

Her Campus uOttawa: What led you to choose your program of study?
Gloria Charles-Pierre:
 In CEGEP, I studied Arts, Cinema, Literature and Theatre, and I completely loved it. It opened my eyes to a new world and gave a lot of perceptive on what I wanted to do later, especially with all the creative writing classes I had taken. Studying literature and learning a new language was the next natural step for me.

HCuO: How did you become involved with Her Campus uOttawa and how has it had an impact on your university experience?
GC-P: The summer before I started at uOttawa, I got en email from a mentor at uOttawa inviting me to join some Facebook groups to help me with my transition. On one of those groups, Sona Kollaravo, our past editor-in-chief, posted an add to join the Her Campus uOttawa team. It was the last day to apply and I knew I would not get accepted because I had no writing experience, and back then my writing skills in English were horrible, but I still tried. A few days later, I got a message saying I was accepted. I was in shock, but thrilled! During my first year, I was under the supervision of Elizabeth Radtke, and she was honestly the best mentor I could have. She encouraged me to write every step of the way and always had complete trust in me. 

Being involved within HCuO was the best decision I ever made. First of all, it allowed me to meet so many amazing people from the writing team and the marketing and communication team, but also gave me the chance to interview fantastic people and learn about different clubs on campus that I didn't know anything about. It forced me to improve my writing skills in English, to become a leader, and to become organized. I also can't forget that HCuO gave me the chance to create a writing portfolio that I am proud of. It just made my journey at uOttawa more enjoyable because I could put my energy in areas other than just school. 

HCuO: Do you have a favourite article that you’ve written for HCuO?
GC-P: Absolutely not! I counted the numbers of articles I've contributed on the website and I've written 105 articles for HCuO to date. It's unbelievable, but I'm so proud of all my work with this team. In every article that I write, I give it my all. I leave a part of me in each text, so I can't choose one that I love the most… I just can’t. I do have articles that I'm very proud of, including the interview I did with Céleste Lévis, who participated at La Voix on the Quebec side. It was very hard to get a hold of her since she's a celebrity, so when she finally got back to me after a couple weeks, I was thrilled and she was very sweet to talk to. I'm also happy I wrote a faith based article last year. It's a more personal article that I was scared to write, but I got some great feedback on it. 

HCuO: What are some other writing projects that you’re proud of outside of HCuO?
GC-P: I'm so happy to say that writing for Her Campus gave me so much confidence to go out there and get others writing gigs. A year after starting to write for Her Campus, I began my journey with Wingd. I'm so happy to be involved with them. It allowed to me to explore another façade of my writing experience. I got to write a lot of short stories and meet some awesome people. Currently, I'm their French editor and content manager. Additionally, some writers of Wingd and I wrote the book “An Insider’s Guide to Canada’s Capital.” It was a lot of work, yet, when I got to hold the first draft of our book, I was so proud and happy. The book should hit the market  by March 2017, so I can't wait. I can say that I'm a writer, editor and a published author. This process inspired me to finish some personal writing projects of my own, so keep your eyes open for a book written by me in the next year or two.

I'm also proud that I got to be a contributor to the Montreal Blog, Le Fil Rouge. It is a wonderful blog that aims to help their readers understand the benefits of reading and discover great books.

HCuO: How else are you involved on campus at uOttawa or in the city of Ottawa?
GC-P: I am a member of Catholic Christian Outreach, which is a club on campus that is here to bring students closer to God by providing faith studies, mission trips and fellowship. I'm so grateful to have met them when I did because I have been more involved with my faith and I have consistenly been working daily to be a better Catholic young adult.

I also used to volunteer at the Boys and Girls Club and it was so much fun! Currently, I volunteer at the Bettye Hyde Learning Co-operative, which is a daycare located in Sandy Hills. I love working with children and babies, so I love being involved with them.

HCuO: What is one of your proudest moment ?
This past holiday season with the help of Wingd, I started a charity campaign called “A Thoughtful Gift” where we partner with shelters or housing in Ottawa to create care packages for them. The campaign took two months in the making because we were reaching out to the public to receive donations, and I'm glad to say it was a success! I'm now working on another project that will help other organizations in need in the city. My plan is to donate more care packages in April to shelters and housing. In September, I then want to partner with after-school programs in the city to help parents with the burden of shopping for back to school. I felt so proud to hand these carepackages to these organizations who really needed help. 

HCuO: What is one piece of advice that you wish you’d had in your first year of university?
Don't be afraid of failure! I know it sounds counterproductive, but honestly, we're all humans and sometimes we must fail in order to realize what we want, what we need and what we don't need. Life can kick you hard and you will fall, but you only truly fail when you don't continue fighting for what you want. My advice to all students is to pray, stay patient and don't worry. 

HCuO: What long term goals do you have for life after university?
GC-P: I have so many goals that I'm scared that I will run out of time. I'm in the midst of applying to teachers college because I for sure want to be a French and English high school teacher. I also want to continue working in daycares/ preschool programs so I must get my ECE (Early Childhood Education). Perhaps I will open a daycare with my mom. I also see a master's in my future in either the education field or the literature field. I also want to continue writing and I've always wanted to be an editor working for a publishing firm at some point. I think in the near future I will be doing the Certificate in Publishing at Ryerson University. In others words, I will being doing more schooling after my undergrad. 

However, before doing all of that, I want to travel as much as I can afford with my boyfriend. I think I deserve a vacation (haha)!

HCuO: What will you miss most about uOttawa after you’ve graduated?
I will for sure miss being involved with Her Campus uOttawa. I've been a part of this team for so long that it will be hard to say goodbye. Other than that, I will miss all the help that's right at our fingertips. If you're struggling with anything academically or in your personal life, you can be sure to find a person to help you, and if that person can't help you they will refer you to the right person. I will  miss that because it made me feel important and cared for. 


Sources: Cover picture was taken by Felixe Denson, all other photos were provided by the Gloria Charles-Pierre.