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By Maryam Liaqat
Are you someone who feels demotivated due to the pandemic? Would like to take part in something fun and meaningful as well as contribute to the community, all from the comfort of your home? Then Media Minds is the right fit for you.
Media Minds is an after-school program for youth in Grades 6–7 with the purpose of building confidence in the youth through mentorship and facilitating media activities. Read more here.
In this blog post, Leah Erhardt, a final year SFU student, with a goal of becoming a high-school teacher, shares her experience of volunteering as a Workshop Facilitator at Media Minds and why you will like too.
So, without further ado, here are 5 reasons why you should volunteer at Media Minds.
- The program is 100% online
Adhering to the public health and safety guidelines, the program has completely shifted to a virtual setting. Only a computer and a Zoom account is needed.
Leah found this to be great opportunity as not only is she a distance learning student, but also because there was a chance to do something new, even during the pandemic. Leah learned the skill of adaptability as she became more accustomed to online volunteering.
- An opportunity to get creative and learn meaningful lessons from the youth
The best part about volunteering with this program is the youth itself. Leah found the kids to be awe-inspiring. Not only did they adapt easily to the online setting, it was easy to break the ice with them.
Moreover, Leah was amazed at their imagination and their ability to think outside-the-box. “They came up with great ideas and great animation, some of the projects were outstanding,” Leah says.
- A chance to connect and work with like-minded individuals
The pandemic has led us to become cut-off form people as there is a lack of socialization. While volunteering helps us to contribute to the society, it also helps us to strengthen our bonds with the people involved.
Leah mentions that working under the Team Lead was a positive experience as the they were always available to help and were always open to new suggestion and ideas. Working with other volunteers also led to better collaboration, idea generation and helpful discussions.
- Achieve personal development
This program was intrinsically pleasing to Leah. She says, “to see the project, go from start to finish and seeing the kids succeed and become more confident in their ability to animate was personally rewarding.
In addition to this, this program helps to enhance one’s communication skills with regards to conversing with kids since they need a lot of explaining and one needs to find creative ways to explain concepts to them.
- Gain professional experience
Leah believes that Media Minds is a great experience for future teachers like her. She says this experience allows candidates to stand out and is valuable to add on your resume as it gives you hands-on experience working with kids in a new, virtual reality.
Leah has worked with kids in the past but not in a virtual setting like this. Her positive experience at Media Minds led her to join CommuniCreate, another volunteer program at SFU. Leah’s last piece of advice is to get involved. “Just take it and it will pay off in the end,” Leah says, excitedly.
So, what are you waiting for? Join Media Minds now 😊!