Deborah Wong: Community YMCA Youth Volunteer of the Year


Meet Deborah Wong, Community YMCA’s Youth Volunteer of the Year!

What is your volunteer role at YMCA?

My volunteer role is to come up with ideas and plans for different events related to global initiative, and often times, I also need to do the physical work for the events hosted by the Global Initiatives Committee.

What do you like about volunteering at YMCA?

Volunteering at the YMCA makes me feel like I am contributing back to the community since YMCA helped me to understand the Canadian culture better through YMAP.

Why did you choose to volunteer at YMCA over another organization?

Since YMCA is the first organization that reached out to me through YMAP when I first came to Canada, I feel more comfortable to volunteer at the Y rather than volunteering at a completely new place. Also, in the two years that I spent at YMAP, I found that YMCA is a safe place where people with different cultural backgrounds can voice their opinions and getting accepted.

Do you have a YMCA story?

YMAP inspired me on the importance of giving back to the community through volunteering, and they also taught me why I should care about different issues happening within our society and globally. What YMCA did was life-changing, they opened my eyes to a new world, and encouraged me to pursue my new career goal in the future.

How did you feel when you found out you were Volunteer of the Year?

I was very surprised when I first found out that I was the Volunteer of the Year. I always think of volunteering as contributing back to our community, and I believe that volunteering is a duty for every citizen in the world. What I did was probably not huge to the YMCA, but when a group of people like me work together towards a common goal, I believe that will bring significant change in the society.

Why are you a volunteer?

Since I am an international student, I am not allowed to work anywhere outside of the campus. Fortunately, not being able to work gives me more personal free time, which I think that being a volunteer at the Y could really support what YMCA has been doing.

What are your plans for the future? How has YMCA benefited you for school or your career?

I am planning to do my degree in International Relations in the future. YMCA showed me that I could be so much more than just one person in the universe, and I could be an innovator that brings peace to different global issues at a local level. Being part of GI Committee taught me how to cooperate with people from different age groups and ethnic backgrounds, which would be critical to my future career since accepting diversity is a huge part in my future career.