Volunteer of the Month - December 2014
Immigrant Services Calgary’s Volunteer of the Month is Joshua Cho, an outstanding mentor for the Youth Volunteer Program.
The Youth Volunteer Program (YVP) is an Immigrant Services Calgary initiative designed to assist youth aged 14-20 that are newcomers to Canada. The mission of the YVP is to help newcomer youth build connections to the community of Calgary through community participation and volunteering. As a part of the Youth Volunteer Program, Josh has participated in various volunteering activities and educational workshops designed to strengthen his personal and leadership skills. These activities include: helping people in need through volunteering at shelters, donation centres and senior homes; and attending workshops that encourage community engagement and connecting with newcomers. In the past 10 months, since becoming a registered volunteer with our YVP, Josh has accumulated an astounding 126.5 volunteer hours!
He is a mentor in our program, an encourager, and a passionate, kind-hearted friend to many of our newcomers. Josh consistently provides his highest effort during our events assisting those in need and encourages other youth to participate. Whether at the Drop-In Centre offering kitchen support, donation sorting at My Best Friends Closet or at a workshop targeting the development of desirable life skills, Josh comes with a prepared heart to give his best effort to encourage the people we are serving, his fellow peers and organization staff. Josh has the highest intentions and a passion for giving back and we thank him for his dedication!
Here is Josh’s experience in his own words.
“Originally from South Korea, my family moved to Calgary when I was very young, so I have lived most of my life in Canada. I find much comfort in staying home and exploring the internet, but I also enjoy sports (notably basketball and badminton) and going out with friends. I am fully Korean by blood, but I have been living in Canada for a while now, so although my legal name is Dongheok, most of my peers know me by my English name - Josh.
I have been a mentor with the Youth Volunteer Program of Immigrant Services Calgary for approximately a year now. Throughout my time with the YVP, I have seen much and made many discoveries as I have participated in volunteering events and training workshops. I have met and interacted with a variety of different people from numerous ethnicities, cultures and backgrounds.
Being in the YVP has been a fantastic learning experience for me as a high school student.
Volunteering for ISC has helped me view Calgary from an entirely different perspective.
It has allowed me to better see the multicultural side of our city as well as the need that is so prevalent amongst many populations and minorities. Volunteering with the YVP has further helped me to develop my communication skills with a variety of different groups of people, from seniors to clients with developmental disabilities, to children, and other community members, regardless of their fluency in English.
I am still learning much as a volunteer with the YVP and there is still so much more for me to learn and to see in Calgary, outside of my own community. I will continue to offer my skills and efforts as I continue to mature, and also act as a mentor to other newcomers who experience all the ups and downs of moving overseas, as I once experienced these myself.
The YVP is a fantastic group of people where new immigrants can be exposed to Canadian culture and mentors can improve their interpersonal skills, whilst offering advice, friendship and assistance to newcomers to Canada. I am proud to say that I am a part this group. I hope that in the future I can continue to work hard with the program and strive to better myself, as a volunteer of ISC, as a part of the community, and as a citizen of Calgary.”
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