Montreal

Meet our Montrealer of the Month: Ana Milic

Working with older Montrealers who are isolated and particularly vulnerable to complications from COVID-19, Ana Milic set up peer training sessions so that everyone could become comfortable attending online.

When the pandemic hit, she worked to ensure McGill University's lifelong learners weren't left out

Ana Milic and one of her three children. Originally from Serbia, she now works at McGill University and is a part-time student at Concordia University. (Submitted by Ana Milic)

Ana Milic is known as hard-working, compassionate and a one-woman army by those in the McGill Community for Lifelong Learning (MCLL).

Members take part in study groups and lectures to continue their education later in life. When the pandemic hit, Milic, as MCLL's sole paid employee, worked to make sure the community could still operate online.

"In this context, Ana has persistently gone above and beyond," said Alex Megelas, Milic's partner and the one who nominated her to be the Let's Go's Montrealer of the Month.

Working with older Montrealers who are isolated and particularly vulnerable to complications from COVID-19, Milic set up peer training sessions so that everyone could become comfortable attending online.

About 400 lifelong learners are currently using the community's online resources.

"She's taken a program that reaches out to hundreds, if not thousands, of Montreal seniors and she's moved the program fully online," said Megelas. "She's committed to actively fostering technological literacy among seniors."

Listen to Ana Milic receive her surprise call on Let's Go:

Every month, we surprise a Montrealer who is making a difference. This month we've chosen Ana Milic as the Montrealer of the Month for January! She's the administrative assistant of the McGill Community for Lifelong Learning, also known as the M-C-L-L. It's a learning community made up entirely of retired learners! We surprise Ana and hear all about her experience! 13:41

Others in the MCLL echoed Megelas's sentiment.

"People are very drawn to Anna. She creates a culture of caring," said Sally Cooper, a volunteer at the MCLL. She said that when she reaches out to former volunteers, they always ask how Milic is doing.

"All of our members are very appreciative and really supportive of Ana in her role," said Sandra Baines, who volunteers as the MCLL's president. "Particularly the people that are vulnerable and perhaps more isolated than others. She's got a very sensitive and empathic approach to those individuals for sure."

Milic is originally from Serbia and now lives in Montreal with Megelas and their three children. In addition to her administrative work at the McGill School of Continuing Studies (which runs the MCLL), she is also a part-time student at Concordia University's Simone de Beauvoir Institute.

"We're all about chosen family," said Milic when reached by Let's Go to inform her that she was the Montrealer of the Month. "I have an amazing group of people supporting me, working with me."

She said she's constantly inspired by the community of volunteers that make up the MCLL.

"They're making this pandemic bearable for me, they're really amazing," she said. "It becomes everyone's lifeline."

She said her experience as a mother and administrator for the MCLL has taught her that those who live hard lives can still work together to build something special.

"I'm still like figuring things out, but I think I genuinely care and I'm glad people see that," she said.

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