Growing up in the small ocean-front town of Dominion, Nova Scotia, Emma Jerrott has always understood the value of community spirit and pride. A 2014 graduate of the Bachelor of Arts Community Studies (BACS) program at CBU, she now gives back to the community every day in her role as the Good Food Bus Coordinator.
Emma’s journey to CBU was a little different than some, which shows there is no one linear path to success. After high school, Emma enrolled in the two-year Human Services program at NSCC with a concentration in Disability Supports and Services, graduating in 2012. “I didn’t feel like my educational journey was complete,” explains Emma. “So I was excited to discover the articulation agreement between NSCC and CBU which allowed me to transfer my credits over and use them toward the BACS program.”
Emma says she wasn’t sure where her career would take her when she decided to enrol in the BACS program, but knew how much she loved her community and working with others. “I decided that the diversity of the BACS program would align well with my plans to serve my community while staying close to home,” she says. “And both CBU and NSCC made my transfer experience such a simple and pleasant process that I felt supported every step of the way.”
During her time at CBU, Emma made an effort to become involved on campus, eventually taking on the role of Student Activity Coordinator with the Students’ Union where she helped plan and host student-life events on and off campus. “This role gave me the opportunity to become a familiar face on campus, building lasting friendships with many of my fellow students,” says Emma. “Some of the best years of my life have been spent at CBU and I made memories that will stay with me forever. I’m very proud to wear my CBU grad ring every day.”
After her graduation from CBU, Emma pursued a Public Relations Advanced Diploma from NSCC which she completed in 2015. It was shortly thereafter that Emma discovered the plans for the launch of the Good Food Bus program and loved that the program planned to provide an important service for communities across the CBRM. After attending a community information session, Emma reached out to Claire Turpin, Manager of the Better Bite division at New Dawn Enterprises, who invited her to interview for the Good Food Bus Coordinator position. Someone as passionate about community as Emma was a natural fit for the job, and the team was eager to have her on board.
An out-of-service accessible transit bus was retrofitted to become the Good Food Bus, and stocked with fresh produce thanks to collaboration with local community partners. As the Coordinator, Emma handles all aspects of the program from food sourcing and volunteer scheduling to marketing, budgeting and even driving the bus. The Good Food Bus visits communities throughout Cape Breton to make healthy and affordable food more accessible to all.
“Working in the community every day means I am fortunate enough to meet new people and collaborate with community groups and organizations who share similar passions,” says Emma. “During my time in the BACS program I was able to build connections with community leaders that have continued to be beneficial in my professional life.”
Emma plans to continue her work in the community and eventually expand the Good Food Bus program to better serve rural areas throughout Cape Breton. “In the future, I also plan on working towards a healthy and happy life with my wonderful partner, family and friends,” Emma says. “One more thing I would like to share is if you want to complete your education in Cape Breton, take the plunge and do it because this little island has a lot to offer if you give it a chance!”