Stephanie’s Story: Volunteering to make a difference

It’s National Volunteer Week, and DIVERSEcity is proud of the volunteers who dedicate their time to our organization to make it better.

Here’s Stephanie’s story.

Stephanie is scheduled to go to the hospital tomorrow to deliver her second child, yet she still found the time and energy to chat today about her volunteer experience with DIVERSEcity. According to DIVERSEcity’s Volunteer Coordinator Mohammed Kromah, Stephanie is amazing, and it’s clear to see why. She’s the kind of volunteer that is not only dedicated, but goes above and beyond because she truly wants to make a difference for others.

“I was doing a diploma as a social services community support worker, but I was being denied a practicum placement because I was pregnant. My spouse, who is from South Sudan, told me about DIVERSEcity, and suggested I reach out,” says Stephanie. “I connected with Mohammed who was so kind, and said ‘We don’t care if you’re pregnant, you’re still capable of working!’”

Stephanie, who also has a five-year-old daughter, volunteered through DIVERSEcity’s Volunteer Program to fulfill 100 hours of work experience. She supported various programs, including the TAPS seniors program, doing wellness calls and helping run in-person activities, and the Digital Literacy program, helping seniors navigate the internet and more.

“There was one gentlemen senior who was new to TAPS. He wanted to socialize, but he was not confident. I am not shy and happy to talk and build people up, so I helped him get on the dance floor, and he was in a walker. I could see him become happier and more socialized as time went on,” she says.

Stephanie shares another moment that was particularly meaningful for her, while supporting a newcomer youth sports activity. “There was one girl originally from Syria who didn’t know how to use her voice. She was nervous when asked questions. I reached out to her and told her to focus on me. I said, ‘You have a voice, and I want to hear you roar it,’” says Stephanie. “By the end, I could really see her bloom and she became so talkative. Her mom thanked me for making her feel so comfortable.”

While Stephanie has some things to keep her busy over the next few months, she’s eager to stay connected with DIVERSEcity.

“I like what DIVERSEcity does and what it stands for. All the staff were so helpful; I adored everyone at DIVERSEcity,” says Stephanie. “I told Mohammed to give me some time to recover and I will come back and be more than happy to do some more volunteering.”

Thank you, Stephanie, and congratulations to you on the birth of your second daughter! We’re looking forward to seeing you again soon.

Learn about volunteering with DIVERSEcity here.