Why Greta Became a Youth Education Mentor
YWCA Youth Education Programs are designed to support grade 7s as they transition to high school and into adolescence. They also offer volunteers the opportunity to mentor and lead the programs. Here’s why Greta decided to volunteer:
“I discovered the YWCA’s Youth Education Programs when my Psychology Statistics instructor put an advertisement in her syllabus encouraging students to volunteer. I was attracted to the idea of mentoring grade 7 students because of the array of fundamental topics the Youth Education Programs cover, including: physical, emotional and mental well-being, how to build healthy relationships, personal values, staying safe online and giving back to the community. These issues align with my current studies in psychology and my interest in potentially pursuing a career in counselling.
“The opportunity to volunteer fell into my hands at just the right time, offering free training and flexibility, an extensive curriculum that spoke not only to my personal values, but my long-term professional goals and passions.
“As a volunteer, you’re rewarded with 20 hours of free facilitation training, a resume boost with reference letters to boot and the opportunity to hone public speaking, communication and leadership skills. But volunteering in the program goes far beyond that.
“I was excited to share my experience and knowledge with the participants and help them prepare for challenges similar to what I’d faced during high school and as a teen. This was absolutely an opportunity that the program offered, from speaking to the grade 7s about the importance of building self-esteem, to our one-on-one chats about navigating the vast hallways of high school, to our shared love of cats.
“During my time with the program, I was surprised that I found myself listening as much as talking. I was in awe of the knowledge many of the participants already had about the topics we covered. It warmed my heart to hear the confidence these grade 7 students held in their values, beliefs and self-respect.
“I started off 2018 with the vague idea that I wanted to get more involved. Being a Facilitator in the program gave me the opportunity to learn and practice a new skillset and gave me the rewarding experience of sharing knowledge and supporting youth through the rocky transition into high school. My time with the program was truly a game-changer and opened the door to my involvement at the YWCA.”