As a Communications and Media student, I spend a lot of time looking very carefully at the news. I listen to the radio, read the newspaper, and probably spend a little too much time on social media.

It’s what I love to do, but if you, like me, spend too much time reading the headlines, you know the accompanying feeling of hopelessness that can come along with it.

Gun violence, famine, and borders. Death, disease, and destruction. It’s enough to make one want to throw their TV out the window, lock the doors, and draw the blinds.

But there’s a quote by the one and only Mr. Fred Rogers, of Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood, that I like to remember when I feel this way, and it goes like this:

“When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, ‘Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping’.”

I was walking around campus after class, and I came to realization that Canadian Mennonite University is a school that is equipping its students to become helpers.

My friends in the science faculty will be the helpers fighting climate change and sickness.

Our English majors will one day write the books and poems that inspire us to go on and look for beauty in this world.

I cross paths with the counsellors and music therapists of the future, and play volleyball with the business leaders of tomorrow who are learning how to run a business that creates profit while respecting people and the planet.

I hear the beautiful music throughout the halls that comes from my friends that have chosen to live their lives making a joyful noise, and I rub shoulders in the cafeteria with people who will one day become the pastors of our churches.

I meet students who create their very own interdisciplinary degrees, who will do some job that doesn’t even exist quite yet, but it’s a job that’ll need to be done.

Our professors and faculty, who read the same headlines that I do, see us as helpers as well, whether they’ve watched Mister Rogers Neighborhood or not. They’re not scared. They have hope.

Mr. Rogers

If they didn’t have hope for a brighter future ahead and better headlines in the news, they wouldn’t be here, sharing their knowledge and experiences with their students. They wouldn’t share their testimonies in chapel, invite students into their offices for meaningful conversations, or care so much about their jobs.

And they care so much.

And you, dear donors, you see hope for the future as well. You’re investing in the next generation of helpers you’ll see in the news. And we are so grateful for all the opportunities that your donations give us that help us to become better helpers.

And me? I’ve decided that I’ll be the one writing the headlines of the future. Holding that camera. Doing that interview. Telling you the stories of the helpers that you invested and believed in. Sharing that hope that I feel every-day that I’m at this school. Becoming a helper in my own unique way.

Looking at the world around us, it can sometimes be hard to see the helpers. 

But if you take a look at CMU, you’ll see them everywhere. And that gives me hope.

– Chloe Friesen, 2nd year Communications and Media student