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From volunteering to working as a program coordinator – Keira’s professional journey and 4 tips for you to start your own
By Maryam Liaqat
Keira Woo is a third-year Psychology student with a dream of becoming an elementary school teacher in the near future. This is the story of her journey from volunteering at Racing Readers and Learning Buddies to working as a Tutoring, Homework, and English Support Program Coordinator for the CEC and four helpful tips to help you get started with your volunteering journey.
- Follow Your Passion
What gets you up in the morning? What are you passionate about? What motivates you or makes happy? Since high school, Keira knew she wanted to become an elementary school teacher. She knew that teaching, mentoring kids and being there for them is her true calling. The reason why Keira volunteered for Learning Buddies and Racing Readers was to gain experience and develop a meaningful relationship with the youth.
- Don’t Be Afraid to Try Something New
Keira believes it is imperative to step out of your comfort zone and say yes to new opportunities. When Keira gained sufficient volunteer experience, she knew it was time to try out something new and climb up the ladder of endless possibilities. This led her to her new role as a Program Coordinator at the CEC. Don’t be afraid to try something new that will allow you to learn and achieve your professional goals.
- It’s Never too Late to Volunteer
Sometimes classes, meeting deadlines and other commitments make it difficult to find time to do something you enjoy. However, it’s never too late. Keira started her volunteer journey in her second year when she was better able to balance her schedule. Not only was she able proactively fulfill her commitments, she was also able gain new skills that added to her career growth.
- Apply your Skills & Experiences from One Opportunity to the Next
As a volunteer with the CEC, Keira was able to enhance her active listening, creative thinking, teamwork and leadership skills while gaining experience with working with kids. These transferrable skills and experiences helped her to better transition into her new Program Coordinator position. Take note of any new activities and roles you’re performing or skills you’re gaining from your current volunteer experience and add it to your resume. This can serve as an advantage for when you apply for your next role.
Keira’s passion to have an inspiring and meaningful impact in the lives of kids coupled with her future career goal of becoming a teacher ignited the spark of her becoming a part of the CEC programs. Her volunteering experience then helped her to smoothly transition to her next venture. We hope that her journey was able to inspire you to start your own!
Learn more about the exciting volunteering opportunities being offered by the CEC here.