Loran Morrison doesn’t have a lot of free time. But free time isn’t on her list of priorities.
“There are a number of things that are fundamentally important to me,” Loran says. “Community is one. My family had received a lot of help from the community. My parents fostered the concept of giving back. That’s important to me.”
Loran grew up in Truro, Nova Scotia. She was the first in her large family (four brothers and four sisters) to go to university. It was a big step.
“When I went to King’s it really was my first time away. I found after a few months that I needed a sense of community and I found that in North End Halifax.”
Loran found her way into that community via a poster advertising for volunteer tutors. She was taking the Foundation Year Program science option (FYP Science) and thought she could help high school students with their math and science classes. She started with one student named Kordeena. Then she took on another. And another. Her community was growing.
“Helping is part of being in a community,” Loran says. “I’ve received help, and I help people. That is just the way it is.”
After King’s Loran went on to get another undergrad degree, this one in microbiology and immunology.
“By then, I was independently tutoring about 10 students each week at the North End Memorial Library and at Dalhousie’s Killam library. It was starting to be more than I could handle. At the time I was also working for Molson Coors Canada as a promo girl, bartending on weekends, and doing research in a physics lab. So, help was needed.
That’s where her friend Chloe Zinck comes in.
“Chloe and I recruited some friends and founded SHINE.”
SHINE Academics is a volunteer-run free tutoring program specializing in math and science.
“It has a social element, and mentorship and a positive academic connection for kids who have not had that before. Little by little I brought people from my math and physics circles and from my family and we have about a hundred kids now.”
Loran though wasn’t done with her own studies. She entered Dalhousie Medical School. Her time studying humanities at King’s gave her a leg up.
“King’s taught me how to follow different threads within a story. I discovered different forms of outward and broad thinking at King’s; equally exciting but exceptionally different in ways of exploring and digging into topics when compared to my experience with math and science.”
“When I interview people to be tutors with SHINE, I ask them if they would be excited about tutoring specific topics to our kids, as that’s where the magic is.”
Loran herself is still excited. She is also still in touch with her very first student, Kordeena.
“She’s an artist now, with three kids. She did graduate high school. Her two eldest children attend SHINE. They are an incredible family that I’m so fortunate to have in my life.”
Posted: September 2019