Greetings everyone! My name is Mandi Torris and I have been selected to go on the first leg of the NOLA 2011 trip, at the beginning of May. I am super pumped for this experience and I can tell this winter is going to draaaaag on and on while I patiently wait for spring to arrive!

A little bit about me: I’m a second-year psychology student at Ryerson, and I have my Addictions Intervention Counselling diploma from a college in Barrie. My future career path will be working with women and their families who are affected by addictions and mental health problems. I live in (beautiful?) downtown Toronto with my wonderful partner, but I’m a country mouse at heart, and was raised in small towns all my life. I’ve spent most of my life in either Ontario or Alberta, but have never traveled outside North America (yet!).

I am always on the lookout for new and exciting opportunities to challenge myself and push my boundaries, so when I heard about this trip I knew I had to apply. I am really looking forward to meeting new people, working cooperatively towards a common goal, and learning even more about myself in the process. I think that being immersed in a new social milieu is the best way to learn about it, so I am eager to meet the people of New Orleans who were/are directly affected by the hurricane and oil spill and to hear their stories and help them out.