Meet Georgina Waldron, Shawnessy YMCA’s Youth Volunteer of the Year!
What is your volunteer role at YMCA? What does a shift look like?
I regularly volunteer for Cookie Monsters class on Saturday mornings. We typically have between 8-12 kids ages 3-5. We cook a recipe from the cook book, I always love the food even when the kids don’t!
What do you like about volunteering at YMCA?
I love being able to work in my community, meeting new people and dealing with new experiences. I love working with children, watching them grow and learn through play. I am learning lots and developing new skills to help me in my goal to become an elementary school teacher.
Why did you choose to volunteer at YMCA over another organization?
I wanted to be able to volunteer for an organization that serves the heart of my community, in addition volunteering with the Y allows me to volunteer directly with children as well as meeting many amazing adults. I was really excited when I applied to be a volunteer to work as a leader, and find out more about myself.
How long have you been involved at YMCA?
When I immigrated to Canada almost 7 years ago I was enrolled in swimming lessons at the YMCA. In Middle School I had volunteered at the local elementary school but was unable to continue with that when I left. Once I started High School I spoke to a couple of other students who had great experiences volunteering at the Y and decided to apply to volunteer myself.
Do you have a YMCA story?
It is sometimes hard to wake up on Saturdays to get to the YMCA, especially now that I live on the U of C campus! I am always glad that I do because the volunteers that I work with and the children in the class always find a way to make me smile. Sometimes the children in class attack me with the dinosaur puppets, or spill flour all over my black YMCA shirt, but I always enjoy myself and feel good about teaching them something.
Why are you a volunteer?
Life can get pretty stressful and I have definitely learned that in my first year of university. I have also learned that volunteering helps me relax, I think this is because I am focusing on helping the kids in the class and doing something for the community, instead of focusing on myself. I also think that every time I volunteer I learn a lot about myself and what I am good at. I think that everyone should volunteer not just because it makes a difference in the community but also because it feels great to give back.
What are your plans for the future? How has YMCA benefited you for school or your career?
My plan for the future is to become an elementary school teacher. Volunteering at the YMCA has been a true gift to me. It has given me many experiences helping young children learn, and has taught me so much about myself as a leader. I can’t think of any better way to help me prepare for the future I want and I am so grateful for all the great experiences and opportunities I have been given at the YMCA.
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