From a young age Carilyne Hébert knew she wanted to help people. Exactly how she’d make her dream come true came to her more recently: Politics! Carilyne Hébert is the first person to file her nomination papers to be a candidate in the 2014 Cornwall City Council election.
It’s no secret that Hébert is passionate about her city. She’s lived in Cornwall since she was a child. Originally from Alexandria, her family moved to Cornwall for their small business. At the age of 15, Hébert’s passion for helping people took flight as she headed south to the Dominican Republic to participate in a “Humanitarian” aid mission with her high school, La Citadelle. She says that was a life changing experience for her, “This was such a reality check for all of us. I knew within the first 24 hours I wanted to dedicate my life to helping people. At first, I thought I wanted a career in international development. However, when I returned to Cornwall and started getting involved in social justice, I realized quickly that there are people in our own community who are in need.”
Hébert then threw herself into charity and volunteer work in Cornwall. She is a Big Sister with the Big Brothers Big Sisters program, is active in various committees in the community and most recently became a board member with the Agape Centre. “At times it seems I put in more volunteer hours in a week than I do my actual job.”
Full time, Hébert is the Center Coordinator for Contact North/Contact Nord Cornwall. The provincially funded non-profit organization provides access to distance education to people in rural Ontario. “We are changing lives with education,” says Hébert. The network partners with Ontario’s 24 public colleges, 20 public universities, school boards, and literacy and training providers to help Ontarians participate in education and training opportunities without leaving their own community.
Hébert sees the importance of the work she does in her job every day. “Education is the key to prosperity” She also knows what the Cornwall community needs through her volunteer work within the city. Now, she wants to give more. “Serving in a soup kitchen and being on non-profit boards are all wonderful things and I encourage everyone to give back to our community. However, I know one sure way to make a real difference in people’s lives is becoming part of our municipal government. I am ready to dedicate my time to making this great community everything it has the potential of being.”
“I want to raise a family in Cornwall. I am happy to see the progress the city is making but the possibilities are endless. There is so much more we could be doing to create a better Cornwall – one we all want for our families today and for generations to come. I want to be part of that change”