Meet Zeeyaan Somani

Congratulations to Zeeyaan Somani, the first-ever recipient of the Don and Jean Sloan Scholarship! Zeeyaan has volunteered nearly 500 hours with YVC of Calgary on top of being involved in a ton of school and extracurricular activities. She’ll be pursuing a degree in nursing beginning this fall, and she hopes to use her nursing skills to serve both locally and abroad.

But don’t take it from us—meet Zeeyaan, and see how awesome she is for yourself!

How did you get started volunteering with YVC?

My sister, who’s four years older than me, had been serving with YVC quite a while. One day she asked if she could bring her little sister, and that was the first time I volunteered with YVC. I started doing summer projects before I was technically allowed—when I was 10 or 11 years old. Volunteering helped me expand my horizons, and I learned quite a bit by having the opportunity to help in different areas and getting to know my city better.

What influence would you say YVC has had on your life?

I’ve grown so much since I started volunteering. The first time I entered the Youth Central office, I was a quiet, timid adolescent. I was so unsure of what I wanted to do in the future and who I was as an individual. As I continued to volunteer, I became more comfortable with myself and developed a new sense of confidence in myself.

I joined the Youth Volunteer Corps Steering Committee the summer before grade eight, stayed on the committee for the school year, and volunteered the next summer as well. While being on the committee, I was surrounded by all of these other leaders who inspired me to contribute more to my community. From a young age, I began understanding how to work with a team and become a leader. Over the years I’ve developed those traits through volunteering with YVC.

Why do you think it’s important to volunteer?

I think it’s important to give back mainly because it not only helps other individuals in the community, but provides a sense of personal satisfaction that can’t be attained in any other way. At the end of the day when I come home from a volunteer project and reflect on the difference I’ve made, I feel this strong sense of happiness inside.

How will you continue serving in the future?

Because of the Youth Volunteer Corps, I’ve been inspired to dedicate my career to helping those here in Calgary and abroad. I’m planning to go into nursing and work locally for a couple years before working abroad. I want to utilize my experiences and knowledge to help those in developing nations. I just see myself dedicating my whole career to bettering the lives of others and feeling that I’ve made an impact in their lives.