Gaining New Views
Guest Blog by Rayyan Hussain. a grade 10 student who enjoys volunteering.
Volunteering is a great opportunity to learn about the perspectives of others, learn new skills, and build strong community ties. By being a volunteer who works with others on a regular basis, I’ve learned that people have diverse perspectives on issues and can bring valuable knowledge to conversations. For example, during my time working as a surveyor for my local YMCA, I was informed by an individual who has a mobility disability that the YMCA needs to be more accessible for those who have physical disabilities so they can remain active and live a healthy life. Without this interaction, many people, myself included, would not have thought about how accessibility may not be great for everyone. Alongside gaining new viewpoints on an issue, volunteering is an ancillary to learning new skills. By volunteering, I’ve gained many new skills that I continue to use for projects and assignments. For example, I learned to keep track of ballots and votes while volunteering for student vote at my school during this recent provincial election. This ability to multitask and tabulate different papers has helped me learn valuable organization skills that I continue to use today. Finally, volunteering builds strong community ties by bringing youth closer to others around them. I built strong community ties during a cleanup project at Fish Creek Park when I worked with other people my age to pull out invasive weeds from around the park. I learned about how similar I was to them and I continue to work with them on various volunteer projects to this day by maintaining communication with them. By volunteering, I’ve learned that there are people whose background shift their perspectives, learnt valuable skills that continue to help me to this day, and built a community of fellow volunteers.