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The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams
By Palak Jain
As Eleanor Roosevelt rightly said, “The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams”. With a passion for teaching kids in elementary school, Taran is a determined volunteer who is a criminology major and doing a minor in learning disabilities.
Taran started volunteering with the SFU Surrey-TD Community Engagement Centre in the beginning of 2020 with Racing Readers. In that program, she helped students from grade 2 to 5 develop educational skills and taught them physical and social well-being.
Moving forward, in summer, Taran took on a role as a volunteer with Learning Buddies. In her role at Learning Buddies, she helped immigrant students develop their literacy skills in English. She helped improve their English-speaking skills by reading different books with them.
Having worked with Racing Readers and then Learning Buddies, now Taran is a supervisor for the Connect Through Homework Program. Upon joining her position with the Connect Through Program Homework, Taran felt a little closer to achieving her dream job. She runs everything in this program just like an elementary teacher would. Doing things like taking notes, making presentations for the children and introducing the kids to topics like “Canada as a whole”, she experiences a wholesome feeling. Her main purpose is to help these kids feel at home and help them ease in their transitioning.
She divides the program meetings in three parts. In the beginning, she introduces the class as a whole. Following their greetings, she teaches the kids a new thing about Canada, for example, symbols that our country represents, name of the provinces, one fact about each province, Canadian Wildlife, etc. Moving forward, when the kids are sent in their designated breakout rooms, the mentors help them with their homework that is assigned to the kids from their respective school. Then, after an hour of a study session, she plays games with the kids like scriblio, hangman, kahoot. Taran also mentions that some students just come to attend the meetings because they love playing games and want to make new friends.
Taran currently works as a behaviour interventionalist where she works with autistic kids. When asked about what the one thing she learned throughout her whole work experience with SFU Surrey-TD Community was: Patience. She mentions how working with this demographic made her more patient. After working with kids for such a prolonged time, she talked about what to expect. On being asked about her experience, she mentioned an incident when she was volunteering with Racing Readers where a girl wasn’t communicating with any of the other members of the program but her. She felt accomplished as the girl loved talking to her. Taran’s approach with kids is pretty simple. She doesn’t force them to answer. She tries to engage with them by asking questions, letting them ask her questions or even play different games with them.
Taran aims to work with kids from different demographics in the near future. She loves working with the Connect Through Homework and feels accomplished at the end of the day. As Oprah Winfrey said, “If you want to accomplish the goals of your life, you have to begin with the spirit.”, Taran’s determination and her will power helped her achieve her goals. We wish Taran best of luck for her future endeavours and would like to thank her for all her efforts that she has been putting in the programs.
Learn more about the exciting volunteering opportunities being offered by the CEC by clicking on this site: www.sfu.ca/cec/get-involved/opportunities.html