Get Involved hopes to get you inspired! Below you will find both interviews with involved student leaders and testimonials of UBC Okanagan campus students' experiences at various involvement opportunities. Feel free to get in touch with us for more details!
Student Leader Interviews
- Kelly Taverner - What hasn't she done?
- Kiran Gill - Stepping outside of your comfort zone
- Robyn Kosugi - It's in all of the extras
- Robyn Giffen - Not shy about getting involved
- Anthony Saric - Understanding yourself through involvement
- Shira Sneg - Challenges become your achievements
- Terry Zhang- Your network is your biggest asset
"Volunteering as committee Chair for the Central Okanagan Foundation for Youth has given me the opportunity to expand my involvement into the community. The organization supports youth-led initiatives in the Okanagan and it is a great way to become aware of the incredible initiatives that local young people have going on. It has also been a fantastic way to better understand what a Community Foundation is, how it works and the prosperity and positive development it can bring to a community." – Jenna Gall, Graduated - Earth and Enviornmental Sciences student
“My experience with Eldernet was great! The program requires meeting up with your senior once a week, for one hour, to teach them basic skills such as how to create an email, or Facebook account. After orientation, and getting my criminal record check done, I got paired up with my senior – Agatha. I exchanged phone numbers with my senior so we could plan times that worked best around our schedules. I was able to help Agatha create her own Facebook account, and she was able to connect with her family members and grand children from all across Canada. Although the goal of the program is for UBCO students to teach basic computer skills, I believe that it essentially was a facilitator for intergenerational interactions, a great way for young people to spend some time with the seniors in our community!” – Mariam Hazhir, 3rd year Biology student
“My most memorable volunteering experience would have to be volunteering at the Kelowna Community Food Bank (KCFB) over the Summer. As an international student, my way of connecting with the Kelowna community was by getting involved. It all started when I read about the KCFB on the Get Involved facebook page and remembered that it was conveniently located Downtown, just a short bus ride away. I browsed the website, downloaded the volunteer form, and showed up on a Friday to complete my orientation. I started off sorting food in the kitchen, then did some barcoding, and hamper packaging. Eventually, I volunteered at the front line, giving out groceries and hampers. They needed someone to cover reception so I became a receptionist at the KCFB! This led to training on using their database and registration. What started off as a volunteer opportunity quickly grew into an incredible Summer experience. And I can’t wait to go back!” – Nishat Tisnam, 4th year Microbiology student
“Through the Community Service Learning program, I helped organize a volunteer project for students to partake in during reading week. The organization I worked with was Arion Therapeutic Farm. We went to the farm and helped with essentially anything they needed to have be done around the barn. Afterwards, we got to watch a therapeutic horse back riding lesson which allowed us to see what we were working towards. The goal of a therapeutic horse back riding centre is to help people with special needs build muscle tone as well as confidence. It was a wonderful opportunity for all the students to volunteer and for me to have a chance to organize a volunteer project and gain the experience of contacting organizations. Arion Therapeutic Farm was more than excited to be working with the university.” – Lucia Woolgar, 3rd year
“Volunteering with Learn to Shred has been the most fulfilling volunteer experiences I have ever had. The program gave me an opportunity to share my passion for snowboarding with youth who just need an opportunity to feel supported and realize their potential. The other volunteers, and especially Tori (the program coordinator) are outstanding people who's primary motivation is to keep kids happy. They work hard to create a stress free environment for the youth to learn, and strong relationships to create a supportive and comfortable atmosphere. 23% of Kelowna's youth are affected by poverty. This program takes youth from this demographic who are at particularly high-risk and gives them an opportunity, not only to have experiences that they would otherwise not have been able to, but also to look beyond their current circumstances and see possibilities for themselves that they may have never realized were there.” - Nick Dodds, Graduated - Philosophy student & volunteer for 2 years (instructor and driver)
"As a youth council member of the Fraser Basin Council, I have had the opportunity to work with youth from across BC on water sustainability issues that are affecting the province. I just began working with them in September 2012 and since then I have learned an incredible amount about British Columbia water conservation and issues surrounding water quality and availability. I am looking forward to learning more and bringing their projects and programs to UBC Okanagan." – Jenna Gall, Graduated - Earth and Enviornmental Sciences student
“I have been volunteering with the BC Interior Horse Rescue Society since May 2012. BCIHRS is a non-profit whose mission is to help neglected, abused or surrendered horses. Our aim is to rehabilitate, treat and retrain these horses as necessary, and go through the process of placement in nurturing and loving homes. BCIHRS raises funding through public support, numerous events and fundraisers. We are always in need of volunteers as work at the rescue is volunteer driven, and your support goes directly to the needs of the horses. Check us out at bcihrs.ca for information on our horses and how you can help.” - Angela Gee, 4th year Management student
“I started volunteering with CSL [in the Middle School Mentorship program] at the beginning of my first year. As a mentor, my role is basically to be the "big sister" of students that need extra support outside of class. It could be emotional or academic. Being a mentor is both engaging and tremendously helpful in your personal development. You have to think of creative ways of connecting with students. As a mentor, your role is varied. You can be the person students vent to or the tutor that helps them with math. Usually, you end up being a combination of everything they need, and that is what volunteering is about, positively impacting the world around you and making a difference. The fact that this program has such a huge impact on middle school "at risk" students is the reason why I try to get as many friends to volunteer for it as possible. “ - Virginie Fostroy, Graduated - Political Science, Philosophy and Economics major.
“One of my volunteer experiences has been off campus, through the hospital, and it is being a baby cuddler. I volunteer on the neonatal intensive care ward, and hold babies who are premature, addicted to drugs, or recovering from birth defects. My role is to give stimulation to these precious babies by just being with them and giving them the love and human contact they are craving.” – Tanveer Gill, 4th year Nursing Student
“My name is Ogi Ogopogo. I volunteer anywhere from 5-25 hours per week for UBC Okanagan Athletics and the UBC Heat Varsity Athletics program. From running around campus showing off my slicks moves to pumping up the crowd at games, I love everything blue and gold! Trying to start the blue-and-gold movement on our campus. Thanks for readin’!” - Ogi Ogopogo, Former UBC Okanagan Mascot
“I have been in Rotaract for 2 years now, however, I have been apart of the Rotary family for 6 years. Rotary is such an amazing organization because it has helped me to develop professional and personally. Through my work with Rotary, I have had the opportunity to go on two humanitarian trips to Bolivia and South Africa. This was an amazing experience to open my eyes to the world. With Rotary, I have also had the opportunity to attend RYLA, which is an amazing ethics/leadership camp for young professionals. Since I started with Rotaract (University Rotary Club), I have been able to expand my network with Rotary and develop strong community and campus relationships. Also Rotaract has given the opportunity to meet amazing young professionals with similar interest as myself. So many people have heard of Rotary or Interact or the Rotary Youth Exchange, and now it is time for more people to learn about Rotaract.” – Blake Edwards, 4th year International Relations
“In my experience volunteering at Kelowna General Hospital, I have really enjoyed working with the general public and have gained valuable knowledge in the health care industry and medical field. I took the opportunity to work with patients at KGH in the respiratory and palliative care section in September 2011. I was able to greet family and friends of patients in these two units, explain to visitors information and visiting hours, provide support and assistance to the patients and staff, including nurses and doctors. This year I have had exposure in another area of the hospital, the Emergency Room and surrounding areas in the brand new Centennial Building. Working as an Emergency Room Reception Attendant I work to greet patients and family members, act as a liaison between the Emergency Triage Nurse and the Patient Registration Department and ensure that patients are attended to in a timely and organized manner. Escorting patients and companions to designated areas, reassuring and socializing as needed to subside fear and anxiety and maintaining “order” in this very hectic area fulfill my duties and responsibilities. I would recommend these volunteer experiences to any student at UBCO or institution who is interested in pursuing medicine, gaining exposure in the health care industry and helping members of our community who need it most.” - Matt Redekopp, Graduated - Human Kinetics student
“I volunteered through Community Service Learning and lead a group to volunteer with the Karis Society during Reading Week last year. The Karis Society is a support network for abused and at risk women who need a safe space. We were in charge of painting some of the rooms in the house that Karis Society works out of. I think it is SO important as students, and just regular people, to volunteer. It gives us a greater sense of self, and can bring a smile to someone’s day. Taking time to have simple relationships with people is essential in our busy world.” – Tanveer Gill, 4th year Nursing Student
Last reviewed 4/12/2016 10:41:03 AM