Meet Kirsten Patton, Community YMCA’s Adult Volunteer of the Year!
What is your volunteer role at YMCA?
Math Tutor with the All in for Youth initiative from United Way. A typical shift for me meant coming in and asking the lead tutor which grade needed assistance that day and sitting down to wrap my mind around what it was they were studying this week and helping them as best I could. Typically what was being learned varied from teacher to teacher as well as from school to school, so no two students were necessarily on the same lesson. It proved to be a good challenge for me.
How long have you been involved at YMCA?
I have been involved with the YMCA since the beginning of the math tutoring program in September 2013.
What do you like about volunteering at YMCA?
I love math, and I love making it understandable for others. I really liked working with the students and seeing their understanding improve. Since I don’t have kids of my own, it allowed me to return to what I think of as fun math. It had been years since I’d done much of it, but I was able to reach far back in my memory and remember not only how to do it, but how to explain it. It’s a great mental exercise for me.
Why did you choose to volunteer at YMCA over another organization?
My workplace was contacted and asked if there were interested volunteers for the program, and when I read the description, I jumped at the chance. The program was a great opportunity for me to give back to the community while still having fun.
How did you feel when you found out you were Volunteer of the Year?
I was very surprised to find out as I had no idea I’d been nominated, nor did I feel I’d done anything special. I feel very honoured to be recognized out of a group of great volunteers in the tutoring program. I’ve loved every minute of my volunteer time and working with the other volunteers.
Why are you a volunteer?
I volunteer because it allows me to share my knowledge and help others at the same time. When I was a student, I benefitted greatly from just a little extra help after school one day from a teacher who saw that I was frustrated. He took just a little extra time to explain things a different way and that little bit of help and encouragement cleared up what I was struggling with and set me on my way. I volunteer in hopes that I can pay that forward and hopefully help another student find their way. I thoroughly enjoy working with the students and the other tutors and feel that my spare time was put to good use helping others be successful.
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