Badgers who care: student volunteer opportunities

For some reason Generation Y has been getting a bad rap lately for being self-centered. Whatever group of “Gen-Y-ers” these people are talking about are likely not Brock University students, as in my experience, Brock students are some of the most caring, involved and passionate people in the community. University is all about thinking beyond just one’s own needs and wants, and trying to empathize with others – what better way to do this than through volunteering. Not only will you make community connections and meet fellow Brock students, but you’ll actively be making a difference in the lives of others. We’ve curated a list of just a few of the diverse volunteer opportunities you have as a Brock student. Get involved, Badgers and make the most of your time here at Brock!

The RAFT

The RAFT, located on Centre Street in St. Catharines, provides support services for young people who are homeless or at risk. The RAFT is run by the Niagara Resource Service for Youth, and has been operating since 1994.

Some of the programs offered by the RAFT are a 24/7 hostel, a regional transportation program, a program called “Steps to Independent Living,” a youth reconnection program, a drop-in resource centre, after-school and summer programs, and community development initiatives. The RAFT’s website describes the community development initiatives as focused on, “strengthening stressed neighbourhoods and empowering at-risk youth.”

The-RAFT-Paddlepalooza-Niagara

The RAFT accepts volunteers for many different roles. According to their website, RAFT volunteers help out in everything “from administrative support, to organizing special events and recreational activities, to mentoring and teaching life skills.”

Students are more than welcome to volunteer at the RAFT, and the organization emphasizes that volunteering is a great way for students to gain knowledge and skills about social services and the St. Catharines community under direct supervision from staff, while also helping out people who need support.

In addition to student roles, the RAFT is also looking for people to help with their Life Skills Training program, as well as to help coordinate special events. At-risk and homeless youth are one of the groups in our community who need support and assistance the most, and volunteering to help out at the RAFT is an opportunity to help support this important community.

For anyone who wants to help, but does not want to volunteer, the RAFT also gladly welcomes donations, which can also be made online through their website.

Any students interested in volunteering to help out with the RAFT’s programs. please check out their website at theraft.ca

-Steven Greenwood

Brock University Student Radio

CFBU 103.7 is a community-based campus radio station that serves both Brock and the Niagara Region.
Brock’s radio station allows students to volunteer as part of their news team and has expanded in size over the years. With the ability to host many different shows, you could become a sports talk show host, read poetry, discuss the news, or play music.

This year, Brock radio station is looking to fill many volunteer positions. Currently there are openings in research, reporting, writing, editing, and announcing. However, the opportunities with Brock radio don’t stop there. There are also opportunities to join their marketing team to promote the radio station. People with graphic design skills, promotional assistants, and music directors are also welcome to apply.

Illustrations by Brittany Brooks

Illustrations by Brittany Brooks

This is a volunteer opportunity for all Brock students. Something new people can explore outside of their norm, or if it is something you have always wanted to try, this is your chance. For more information about Brock radio and the current volunteer opportunities available, you can visit cfbu.ca.

If you are interested in your own show contact Deborah Cartmer, the program director at cfbu.ca/contact.php.

-Satbir Singh

Become a Boomer

If you’re an energetic person and you are fine with not talking for a little while, the Boomer Team could use your talents.

The Boomer Team, as you might have guessed, is the team of individuals who dawn the glorious figure of our mascot, Boomer the Badger. This silent giant is a representative of our student body.

This is the perfect way for students to get involved around campus and build Brock spirit while they’re at it. Those who join the Boomer Team dress up as Boomer the Badger or Boomer’s Buddy and attend the various events that call for the Badger’s attention throughout the year.

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With a high energy presence both on and off campus, the Boomer Team is quintessential to the quality of the student experience at Brock. All universities have a mascot to call their own and ours is Boomer the Badger. He is the symbol that we, as Brock students, can rally behind in times of inter-university competition and community involvement. The Boomer Team are the people who keep the Badger spirit and tradition alive.

If the Boomer Team sounds like the right place for you, contact Student Life and Community Experience at 905-688-5550 ext. 6321 or by email at studentlife@brocku.ca.

-Matt Von Lukawiecki

Big Brothers Big Sisters St. Catharines-Thorold & District

There are tons of different volunteer opportunities that Brock students can get involved in, everything from environmental initiatives to affordable housing activism, and if helping and mentoring youth appeals to you, you might want to check out Big Brothers Big Sisters St. Catharines through Brock’s Student Life and Community Experience website.

Big Brothers Big Sisters St. Catharines is dedicated to providing children and youth with meaningful and life-changing mentorship.

big_brother

Every year the agency recruits a number of student volunteers from Brock University to mentor in one of three different school-based mentoring programs: The Go Girls Mentoring Program, the Game On Mentoring Program and the In-School Mentoring Program.

The Go Girls Mentoring Program is specifically for girls between the ages of 12 and 14. It offers activities and mentoring to help young girls improve self-esteem, healthy eating and general well-being. The program runs for approximately 7-10 weeks and consists of seven mentoring sessions held at a number of different local elementary schools.

The Game On Mentoring Program is geared towards boys and young men. The aim of the program is to provide information and support through ‘non-traditional’ activities to help boys and young men make better and healthier lifestyle choices. The program runs for 7 sessions for approximately 60 minutes each per week. Mentors who are selected are trained prior to beginning the program.

The In-School Mentoring Program is provided to children and all genders. It aims to provide young people with not just a mentor but a friend and role model to talk to and share experiences with. The program is more intensive than the other two programs and requires mentors to meet with students on a weekly basis for at least one hour throughout the school year.

If you would like to know more about the programs and getting involved with Big Brothers Big Sisters St. Catharines, please contact Hailey Saunders, the Volunteer Development Coordinator via email at hailey.saunders@bigbrothersbigsisters.ca.

-Stephen Chartrand

Gift Wrapping volunteer opportunity

gift_wrapping
Getting involved both on and off campus is always a good idea, and volunteering is even better. The holidays are quickly approaching and if you are looking for a great way to get involved within the Brock and Niagara community then gift-wrapping might be just the thing for you! Since 1948 the Arthritis Society has gathered volunteers to gift wrap throughout the holidays. The gift wrapping opportunity takes place at Fairview Mall from November 17 until December 24 at 5:00 p.m. There are approximately four shifts that happen during the day, providing plenty of flexibility within a student’s schedule. If you need any additional information please contact Jacqueline from 9:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. at (905) 988-6483.

-Nicole Ayala

Niagara Restoration Council

For those who want to get involved in their local community and have a love of the outdoors, the Niagara Restoration Council is for you.

The Niagara Restoration Council is an organization that is concerned with the environments health, specifically in the Niagara Region. Through various communities, they are involved in several restoration projects, community education, and public awareness initiatives with the overall purpose of long-term environmental sustainability.

Currently, the NRC is working on the development and implementation of restoration, naturalization, and reforestation projects throughout the region.
According to the group’s website, their specific goals are:

1) Ecosystem Improvement – the NRC seeks to reverse the damage done to the ecological health of habitats whether due to human activity or natural events.

2) Environmental Education – the NRC believes it is critical to protecting the environment and improving ecological health by maintaining an educated public about environmental issues.

3) Awareness – the NRC is dedicated to raising awareness about environmental issues through academic initiatives and invovlement in public forums.

Niagara Restoration Council

For more information on the Niagara Restoration Council, be sure to visit their website niagararestoration.org/. If you are looking to get involved or volunteer your time with the NRC, they are currently looking for volunteers for fall to help plant trees throughout the region. If interested, contact Dale Hibrant Project Technician at dale.nrc@gmail.com.

-Chace King

 

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