Volunteering can be rewarding to both yourself and others, a selfless gesture towards your community, school and/or peers. Brock offers many ways to serve on campus and around your community, with kids’ programs such as the Children’s Movement Program and Reading Rocks.
Marissa Raso, a volunteer for the CMP (Children’s Movement Program) at Brock University, believes her time with the program has allowed her to gain valuable experience with working with children.
“Working with the children at CMP has really helped me strengthen my skills, such as leadership, patience, creativity and communication, all of which are crucial to working with children,” said Raso. “I also learned the importance of developmental milestones of children of a variety of ages, and how to facilitate activities with these milestones in mind. CMP has allowed me to put so many of the skills that I have learned about in my classes to use in a practical, hands on setting.”
If volunteering with children doesn’t interest you, there are several ways to still get involved. Student Life and Community Experience is a program run by Brock students that allows their peers to volunteer within their community and on campus.
Last week, on Sept. 13 Brock University hosted their bi-annual VolunteerFEST, in Guernsey Market. VolunteerFEST is an event that is run throughout the day, by current Brock students, Kristen Smith and Megan Brown, who work for Student Life & Community Experience.
Organizations from across the Niagara Region are invited to set up a booth on campus to engage with faculty, staff and students. Student Life & Community Experience host this event in hopes to achieve their goals of allowing Brock attendees to learn about what it means to volunteer in the community of Niagara.
“Students are encouraged to volunteer and give back to the community. Not only does volunteering strengthen the community, it also provides students with professional experience, leadership opportunities, and the ability to enhance transferable skills that are applicable in their courses, the workforce, and in life,” Brown said.
At Brock, through Student Life & Community Experience, there are roughly 580 student volunteers. These 580 students have volunteered for more than 6,100 volunteer hours on campus and in the community.
Volunteers not only help out around school, at events like VolunteerFEST and Brock Cares Day of Service but also in the community at the Balls Falls Thanksgiving festival, for example.
Meghan Hickey, an avid volunteer at Brock and in the community talked about why she thinks it is important to invest some of your time into giving back.
“I volunteer at Brock because I love the community-focused atmosphere that Brock has to offer, and the warmth and comfort I feel being on campus – I feel like volunteering here helps to enhance that feeling, and give a better sense of belonging while I walk these halls,” said Hickey. “I think volunteering is an excellent way to give back to the school, because at the end of the day, I’m proud to be a Badger, and I want my experience, as well as other students’ experiences, to be the best possible.”
Other volunteer opportunities with children, at Brock, include SNAP, Youth University and the “Your Future” project.
For more information, visit brocku.ca/student-life to find out about more ways that you can become a volunteer on and off campus. Brock partners with 71 community organizations and runs more than 65 programs and events throughout the year, providing an opportunity for everyone to be involved in. You can also check out brocku.ca/youth-university to find out more ways you can get involved volunteering with children.