CORNWALL – St. Lawrence College is pleased to announce it will award Dr. Rachel Navaneelan, Dentist and Founder of The Rachel’s Kids Foundation, with an Honorary Diploma. Dr. Rachel will address St. Lawrence College’s graduating class of 2018 at the 1:30pm Convocation ceremony at Aultsville Theatre on Friday, June 1.
For Dr. Rachel, the concept of giving back to her community takes on a global reach. From her local community in Cornwall to her birthplace of Colombo, Sri Lanka, Dr. Rachel’s extensive charitable work has positively impacted countless individuals.
Dr. Rachel and her husband, an anesthesiologist, moved to Cornwall in 1993. In the past 25 years, Dr. Rachel has raised her children, established roots in the Cornwall community, and built a successful dentistry practice.
On December 26, 2004, Dr. Rachel’s home country of Sri Lanka was struck by the tsunami produced by the Indian Ocean earthquake. What started as a small fundraiser to benefit the children affected by the tsunami in Sri Lanka grew into a large charitable organization. In 2004, Dr. Rachel founded The Rachel’s Kids Foundation, a charity dedicated to improving the lives of children through health, wellness, and education initiatives both locally and overseas.
Over the years, Rachel’s Kids and Dr. Rachel have worked to fulfill specific needs in the Cornwall community, collaborating with numerous organizations including the Children’s Treatment Centre, Cornwall Community Hospital, Victim Services of SDG&A, Koala Place, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Cornwall & District, and St. Vincent de Paul Society, among others.
Rachel’s Kids launched two initiatives in 2014 that focus on local children battling life-threatening and chronic illnesses and their families: Small Moments of Joy grants wishes to sick children, while Helping Hands provides financial relief to families whose children are undergoing medical treatment. In 2017, Rachel’s Kids opened House of Hope, a centre where children with autism and learning disabilities can spend time in a state-of-the-art sensory room.
“I’m a strong believer in giving back to the Cornwall community as it has been so great to me since I arrived here and started my dentistry practice 25 years ago,” says Dr. Rachel. “All children locally and globally hold a special place in my heart and this is the reason why I started Rachel’s Kids House of Hope, so I could support children and families in need right here in our community.”
Three Convocation ceremonies will be held at in Aultsville Theatre on St. Lawrence College’s Cornwall campus on Friday, June 1 at 10:00am, 1:30pm and 4:30pm. The 10:00am ceremony will be held for students graduating from programs in the Schools of Applied Science and Computing, Business, Continuing Education, and Skilled Trades and Tourism, Iohahi:io Akwesasne, and the Centre for Corporate Learning and Performance Improvement. The 1:30pm ceremony will be held for students graduating from programs in the Schools of Baccalaureate Nursing, Community Services, and Justice Studies and Applied Arts. The 4:30pm ceremony will be held for students graduating from programs in the School of Health Sciences.
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