Our volunteers shine

With a recommendation from a friend, and an interest in neurodevelopmental disorders, Adam came to the Centre and started with the Camp Ace and the Fun with Art programs.  “The most rewarding thing for me is helping participants be better able to express themselves through mediums other than just speech,” says Adam. “For the folks on the autism spectrum that are non-verbal, seeing their passion as they’re
able to transmit their thoughts through art or dance or cooking, is quite heart-warming for me.”

In his volunteer work with young adults in the Social Night program, Adam gets to know the unique stories and perspectives of each participant,
“It honestly does not feel like volunteering at all; I see them as my peers and as my friends,” he shares.

Adam takes his time with each activity and interaction.  “I think the greatest thing you can ever do for someone is to make them feel like you have all the time in the world for them,” says Adam.  “With my work as a volunteer at the Centre, I want to help kids and young adults feel empowered to be themselves and to do the things that they love to do.  If I can do that, it’s the biggest reward for me.  I make them feel at ease and provide support by listening and guiding.  Often I learn right alongside them.”

“Volunteering at the Centre is an enriching experience for me, and gives me a chance to enrich the lives of others.  It gives me an opportunity to grow and learn in a way that is not available in a classroom.  Volunteering at the Centre lets me connect with some truly remarkable people and other compassionate, enthusiastic staff and volunteers.  I’m a new volunteer, but certainly don’t intend on leaving any time soon!”

Adam’s passion for helping others extends into his University of Alberta studies as a first-year medical student, with a desire to go into psychiatry or neurology as a career.  This busy student and volunteer balances his time with some relaxing moments as an avid movie-watcher, board-game enthusiast, and Oiler’s fan.