Every year, Peel Children’s Centre (PCC) counts on the efforts of more than 100 specially trained volunteers. As mentors, tutors, drivers, childcare workers, respite providers and fundraising assistants, our volunteers are critical to the success of our programs. From April 6th to 12th, we join with the rest of Canada’s volunteer sector to celebrate and thank our volunteers during National Volunteer Week. Keep reading to learn more about PCC volunteer Adam and his contributions to PCC's Mentorship program.
It was a simple Google search that led Adam to PCC’s Volunteer Program. A former lifeguard who had enjoyed teaching kids how to swim and play safely in water, Adam was looking for a new opportunity to mentor young people and give back to his community. As an aspiring police officer, he was particularly interested in having a positive impact on the life of a young man who might otherwise fall through the cracks without guidance and attention from an older male role model.
Adam joined PCC’s team of volunteers as a Mentor in August of 2013 when he was paired up with a 12-year-old boy who had recently experienced a devastating loss – the death of his father. Initially, Adam’s Mentee seemed understandably closed off and reluctant to talk about anything too personal, but as time passed, Adam began to notice a change in his Mentee’s outlook on the future, and a greater willingness to open up to him.
Today, Adam and his Mentee meet for a few hours every Saturday to work together on homework, play basketball, and talk. Lately, many of their conversations have centred on Adam’s Mentee’s hopes and dreams for the future. After seeing all the hard work and creativity his Mentee put into building a city within the game Minecraft, Adam couldn’t help mentioning architecture as a potential career to consider. Since that initial conversation, Adam’s Mentee has done more research on becoming an architect and has broached the subject with his mom as well, and Adam is happy to see that his influence is helping his Mentee to think positively about and plan for his future.
Participating in the Mentorship program has had a positive impact on Adam, too. “It’s rewarding knowing I’m helping and motivating an at-risk youth to pursue positive things,” he says of his experience in the program. He’s not shy about encouraging others to get out and volunteer as well. “When considering volunteering, it’s not a matter of why you should volunteer, but why not,” says Adam. “Most people cannot think of a legitimate reason why they shouldn't volunteer. If you have the ability to volunteer and give back, then I think you have a duty to do so. If you have the ability to have a positive impact on someone’s life, there is no reason why you shouldn’t do it.”
If you are interested in becoming a part of our volunteer programs at PCC, please contact our Volunteer Coordinator, Linda Buchanan, at 905-795-3500 ext. 2260 or use the online form available on our website.