Volunteering during your Non-Profit Co-op is Valuable


Working for a non-profit organization may not always be on the radar for co-op students. However, the chance to support diverse communities throughout the Lower Mainland can be an extremely rewarding experience. For Rachael, the chance to volunteer with Union Gospel Mission’s Streetlight program, while working for the organization at the same time, was an opportunity she couldn’t pass up. 


By: Rachael Allen 4708 reads | 0 comments

A Date With Myself: How I’m Surviving Burnout


Striking a balance between work and life is a difficult task for anyone regardless of their profession. Katerina explains how her desire to work overtook her personal life and she has some tips for making sure burn out doesn’t creep up on you.


By: Katerina Cookson 11274 reads | 0 comments
Type of Experience: 
Co-op Work Term
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Organization Information
Family Support Institute
Organization Sector: 
Organization Profile: 
The Family Support Institute (FSI) is a provincial non-profit charitable society registered in 1985. FSI supports and connects with approximately 10,000 families each year who have a family member with a disability. This support to families stems mainly from our large volunteer network of Resource Parents (RP’s) and Resource Family Members (RFM’s). Currently our RP/RFM Network supports over 200 volunteer parents who support families regionally by sharing experiences and expertise, connecting families with each other, guiding families to supports and services in their regions, and facilitating training and educational sessions. FSI has developed 12 different workshops that are presented all over BC. All of our workshops were written by and are presented by parents. FSI is unique in Canada and is the only grass roots, parent to parent support organization with a broad volunteer base and mandate.
New Westminster
Experience Details
Position Title: 
Research and Communication Coordinator
Responsibilites / Tasks: 
My primary responsibility is conducting research for the creation of the first comprehensive searchable disability resource database called FindSupportBC.
Projects / Initiatives: 
To achieve our vision for a customizable database, a lot of reasoning is required with respect to how each of the thousands of resources are categorized and tagged. This project is highly ambitious and we greatly look forward to being able to help families navigate the system and locate appropriate resources.
What did you learn: 
I learned that there are thousands of resources. It's unfortunate that most families are not aware of any of them when their child is first diagnosed. Another one of the most difficult challenges is the transition stage from youth to adulthood. Now hired to continue to project in the fall (part-time), I will also create an online course on transitioning.
Tips / Advice: 
Try to vary your co-ops to expose yourself to small and large companies, non-profit, and if possible, both the private and public sector.

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