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Volunteer Spotlight

Each month we will be profiling one our dedicated volunteers! Stay connected to see whose next.


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Meet Alicia!

Alicia began volunteering with Big Brothers Big Sisters Waterloo Region as part of the Go Girls! Group Program. The program is for pre-adolescent girls and focuses on being active, health nutrition, self-esteem, and what it means to be a girl today. The program is delivered in weekly 90 minutes sessions over the period of 7 weeks.

The Go Girls! program resonated with Alicia as it let her take a look at her younger self, “remembering back to myself at that age and then seeing my sister transition through that age group, it is easy to see how girls can really benefit from having the extra guidance and support.

I think that it is so important that everyone has at least one older individual whom they can look up to, learn lessons from, and talk to. I loved having the chance to maybe be that person for these young women.

Mentoring is incredibly important to girls who are going through changes and need some guidance in their lives. Alicia’s approach to mentoring is, “to be a positive role model in someone’s life. It means to show by example and be willing to talk about sensitive issues in an appropriate and mature way, to give useful advice and also know when to just listen.” 

Volunteering allows for people to get involved and become benefit the community. To Alicia, Being part of a community provides people with a sense of belonging and gives them contacts to people whom they can have good times with, which can help with mental well-being.”

Being a Mentor for the Go Girls! Program has enabled Alicia to develop transferable skills, “some people participate in group settings differently and while a little push to participate can be good, some people are more comfortable observing, listening, or are just not as verbal as others and you need to be able to pick up on all of these cues.” Alicia has been able to utilize her facilitation skills in many other areas in her life.

“My favourite thing about volunteering is that I am able to use my time to make a difference and it is so rewarding when you see that you have contributed to a positive change in someone.”

To anyone who’s interested in being a Volunteer with Big Brothers Big Sisters of Waterloo Region, some advice Alicia has is, “it is important that you find a position that you enjoy, so that you are able to fully immerse yourself in the experience. It’s good to start smaller and get a feel for it, then do something bigger.”

 

Isaiah-Home-Scroll

I feel the community is only as strong as its weakest member and if we all make efforts to pull those around us up we can ultimately grow together as a community,stated Isaiah, Wilfrid Laurier student, Youth Drop in Volunteer, local Church Preschool Volunteer, and Game On! Group Mentor.

Isaiah volunteers with Game On! ; a program designed to teach pre-adolescent boys about healthy eating, positive body image, and life skills in seven 90 minute sessions.

Isaiah heard about Big Brothers Big Sisters Waterloo Region through the career centre at Wilfrid Laurier University. When asked why he was interested in becoming a volunteer, Isaiah noted that “at first it was about increasing the experience on my resume, but after the first session with the kids it was all about giving back and being a role model for them.”

To Isaiah, being a Mentor is all about sharing experiences with a Mentee, “Mentoring means sharing your experiences with those who are going through/ are about to go through the same situations as you. Through this process you share where you succeeded and where you failed and try and make the way a little easier for those who come after you.

Volunteerism is an important part of Isaiah’s life. One of his most favorable aspects to it is, “having the kids recognize you as a positive role model. Because it reminds you why you continue to work hard, be a good person and how those values are positively impacting others around you.”

“I feel that after each session my Mentees held stronger values about being good people and living a healthy lifestyle. They seemed to have gained all the tools needed to succeed in these areas and it was amazing to see their growth through the program.”

To Isaiah community involvement is an important initiative to take part in as, “the community of Waterloo Region has blessed so
much over the past 4 years, I feel that it is my responsibility to get involved, be a part and give back to the community.”

And to anyone thinking of volunteering, Isaiah would simply like to say: APPLY APPLY APPLY!!!! … I can assure you the experience is rewarding and you will find meaning in your life while positively impacting the lives of others.”