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Instructors, mentors and ADR professionals play a crucial role in inspiring, supporting and imparting knowledge to those new to the field. Their role is essential in influencing a student’s experience. 

My year in the ADR program at Humber College offered me much more than I had initially anticipated. It was a new experience for me to be in a program with helpful mentors who encouraged networking and attending workshops, classmates that worked together and instructors who knew you on a first name basis. It was stimulating to be in a class where everyone came from diverse educational backgrounds – students with law degrees, PhD’s, HR graduates, international students and many others. Not only did we learn from our experienced instructors, but we learned from each other as well. Though your experience may be similar, or a bit different, my journey towards being a mediator has taught me the importance of networking and collaboration.

I have always held an interest in family law but never knew if it was right for me. Our program advisor encouraged us to attend many workshops throughout the year. To explore my curiosity in family mediation, I attended a Domestic Violence symposium and a family mediation seminar composed of a panel of ADR professionals. As the school year came to an end and my interest in family mediation intensified, I was grateful to have had the opportunity to complete my placement with a family mediator arranged by Humber College. This placement opportunity was valuable as I was able to sit in on family mediations and settlement conferences.

My mentor made it a priority to ensure I made the most of my placement experience. Not only did I acquire further knowledge about the family mediation process, but I was also amazed at how patient my mentor was in ensuring we spent time debriefing after each case. Building a rapport with my mentor was especially rewarding. Sharing her experiences and sitting in on mediations made me excited to pursue a career in family mediation. My mentor went above and beyond at providing me with the opportunity to volunteer at the AFCC Conference and with help from a Superior Court Judge, I was able to hear case conferences and have a meaningful conversation with him afterwards. I truly felt like my mentor cared about my success in this field, which motivated me to approach every opportunity with courage and excitement.

Instructors, mentors and ADR professionals play a crucial role in inspiring, supporting and imparting knowledge to those new to the field. Their role is essential in influencing a student’s experience.  I encourage students and new FDRIO members to attend seminars, conferences and engage in volunteer opportunities. I also encourage professionals to consider working with students as it is mutually beneficial and together we can achieve great things. I am looking forward to continuing my journey in family mediation and I’m excited to see whom I meet along the way.

Selina Manna is a FDRIO student member and graduate of the Human Rights and Equity Studies program at York University and the Alternative Dispute Resolution program at Humber College.



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