World News

Rachel Decoste, African-Canadian rising star

7 April 2008 at 04:50 | 1291 views

Rachel Décoste is a software engineer who grew up in Orléans. She was born and raised in Ottawa and moved with her family to Orléans in 1981. She is fluently trilingual (French, English and Spanish) and holds a Bachelor in Computer Science from the University of Guelph.

Ms. Décoste is proud to have grown up in Ottawa/Orléans, which she sees as a community of communities including people from many different walks of life and backgrounds. She grew up among many of these communities and is remarkably reflective of the diversity of her riding. Ms. Décoste, a daughter of immigrant parents, was raised in a Francophone household and attended French schools; however, she was involved in both English and French community groups and attended an English university.

Ms. Décoste has been a community activist since her youth, engaging in letter-writing campaigns to push for change in issues close to her heart: working with the Children’s Aid Society to mentor foster children, volunteering to assist in the care of seniors at a local residence, and participating in the community effort to save the Montfort Hospital, among many other activities.

Ms. Décoste received a Volunteer Appreciation Award for her efforts with the Black Canadian Scholarship Fund and was involved with the Famous 5 Foundation’s inaugural year in Ottawa. Her commitment has not been limited to local activities: she has traveled abroad to provide aid to people in need in Peru and Bolivia and helped with a drive to send literature to a library in Haiti.