As we journey ahead into the unpredictable future in these uncertain times, always remember it is truly a special, rewarding feeling to give our time to help others and how important it is to keep on giving. No matter how small the action, the gesture, it feels nice to be nice! I believe youth volunteerism helps foster a legacy of community spirit, compassion, and life-long engagement in service. Not only are you able to become part of causes bigger than yourself, but volunteering also benefits you personally, helping develop transferable skills like communication and teamwork. I am truly grateful to be part of YVC as it makes creating positive differences in the community accessible and possible for youth; the atmosphere of any volunteer project is always friendly and welcoming.
Over the past four years, volunteering with YVC has incredibly impacted my personal growth. I am naturally an introvert, but when I was younger, I was much more shy and passive. Communication was always a barrier and a challenge I wanted to transcend, so I took that first step out of my comfort zone signing up with YVC. Even though, at first, it was tough and uncomfortable to put myself out there, constantly engaging in a jumble of diverse projects has been a transformative experience. Especially, volunteering long-term with the same organizations and people allows you to really integrate yourself and connect with an incredible network of individuals, be they team leaders, other YVC youth, or even the external partner organization members. Whether it was serving lunch at homeless shelters, taking surveys at farmer’s and maker’s market events, or doing crafts with children at summer camps, interacting more and more with others through service has allowed me to nurture much more confidence in myself and my communication and interpersonal skills.
On a different note, volunteer opportunities have allowed me to expand my worldview and immerse myself in my city’s culture and community. Working with projects addressing a particular issue, for example social issues, from a first-hand, long-term perspective allows you to empathize with those impacted, appreciate their hardships and circumstances, and further understand the impact of volunteering. It is also inspiring to work alongside dedicated organizations and people entirely devoted to improving the lives of others.
The medley of new experiences you gain from volunteering can instill and inspire a lifetime ethic of service. I certainly want to continue volunteering throughout my lifetime. Service to others doesn’t end when you graduate high school or postsecondary or when you enter the workplace and it’s not just something you put on a resume – it’s becoming part of an amazing community, and it stays with you for life. Everyone has a special talent they can use to make a difference and even change the world; all you need is an open heart and mind.
Hello! My name is Rachael and I live in Calgary, Canada. This upcoming 2020-2021 year, I am going into Grade 12, my fifth year volunteering with YVC, and my second year on the YVC Steering Committee. As for hobbies and interests, I love learning about science, to read, watch movies, and go hiking with my family.