We are so proud to have such a wonderful group of volunteers! These individuals generously give their time to help participants build skills in sport and recreation, ignite creativity through art, foster independence through cooking and socializing, bridge gaps by interpreting languages for families, and so much more.

Our volunteers selflessly devote their time, generously share their talents, and leverage their strengths to create an environment at the Centre where participation, learning, and personal growth thrive.

Thank you to all of our amazing volunteers!


Meet Aisha!

Aisha joined our volunteering team in 2023, drawn by the recommendations of a friend already involved with the Centre and ignited by her inherent passion for giving back. Aisha loves to volunteer and generously dedicates her time to various organizations.

At the Centre, Aisha’s love for sports shines through as she lends her expertise to our Basketballers, Teen Basketball, and Kickstart Soccer programs. Her initiative and leadership skills allow her to adapt activities to each participant’s skill level, ensuring an inclusive and enjoyable experience for everyone.

A constant pillar of support, Aisha’s presence guarantees a welcoming atmosphere where everyone feels valued and included. Her warm, fun, and kind nature fosters an environment of encouragement, inspiring participants to fully immerse themselves and excel in their programs while her dedication, compassion, and impact serve as a source of inspiration for others in the program, including other volunteers.

For Aisha, the true joy of volunteering lies in the connections she forms and the lives she touches. Reflecting on her experience, she finds immense fulfillment in the impact she’s made and says that her time volunteering at the Centre has been very rewarding.

“I hope I have made a positive impact and that the participants know I’ll always be there for them,” Aisha says. “The moment when the kids recognize me and we do team play where we take turns, it warms my heart.”

Thank you, Aisha, for your incredible dedication and volunteer service at the Centre!

Meet Layal!

Layal began volunteering with us in 2023, driven by a desire to understand and uplift the autistic community. Initially starting with our Basketballers program, Layal later transitioned to our Virtual Social Night program, where she has since dedicated two seasons of her time.

Among Layal’s favourite memories is the special bond she made with a participant during her time with Basketballers. Their weekly basketball sessions became a highlight for both, showcasing the power of connection through shared activities. Equally, Layal finds profound fulfillment in her current role within the Virtual Social Night program.

Her infectious positivity and vibrant spirit illuminate our Virtual Social Nights, creating an atmosphere of joy and friendship. Through her engaging interactions, including dancing, conversations, and encouragement, Layal creates an environment where participants feel empowered to form friendships and share their interests with each other. Moreover, her leadership skills and innovative approach play a pivotal role in nurturing connections among those who may be shy.

For Layal, volunteering has been a beacon of light during challenging times, enriching her life as much as she hopes to enrich the lives of others.

“My favourite thing is meeting new participants and building this special bond between them. It’s always difficult for me to say goodbye to the participants at the end of the season,” Layal says. “I am so grateful for this opportunity, and I recommend anyone to join this big family because you will gain a lot of skills, experience, and amazing memories.”

Thank you, Layal, for your positivity, dedication, and volunteer service at the Centre!

Meet Henry!

Henry joined our volunteering team in the summer of 2023, drawn by the Center’s shared commitment to enriching the lives of people with autism. With a heart dedicated to service, Henry has made impactful contributions to Camp Ace, a supportive and inclusive summer camp for children with autism, and has taken on a pivotal role in our Exploring Art program.

Henry’s unwavering dedication and empathetic approach have breathed new life into the art program, creating an environment brimming with creativity and friendship. His qualities of initiative, adaptability, and ingenuity have not only enhanced the participant experience but have also created profound bonds with both staff and participants alike.

Going beyond mere assistance, Henry actively engages in collaborative art sessions, fostering personal connections and empowering participants to push their artistic boundaries. His keen understanding of individual needs ensures a nurturing environment where growth is encouraged through tailored support and care.

Henry finds immense joy in witnessing the progress of participants within the Exploring Art program and says that this is his favourite program to volunteer for.

“I love seeing participants grow and learn. Being in the Exploring Art program I have been able to work one on one for a longer period and watch them improve bit by bit every single week. Looking back to where we started and comparing it to where we are now makes me very happy,” Henry says. “I find what I do very fulfilling and I’m confident others would feel the same way as well. Additionally, the team here at the Centre is phenomenal. Everyone is passionate about what we do and is extremely supportive!”

Thank you, Henry, for your dedication, compassion, and volunteer service at the Centre!

Meet Sumeya!

Sumeya has been an invaluable member of our volunteer team since 2022, driven by a personal connection to our mission and values. Inspired by the positive impact of proper support and services for a family member with autism, Sumeya’s journey with us began with a desire to give back.

Her initial venture into volunteering with us led her to the Autism Acceptance Club at MacEwan University, where she serves as president. Here, she devotes her time to encouraging understanding and fostering a supportive community for students, elevating the discourse surrounding autism awareness and acceptance on campus.

Expanding her horizons, Sumeya has seamlessly integrated her interpretation skills into her volunteer work with us, aiding families in better understanding the care they receive during meetings with their clinical service teams.

Sumeya’s exemplary leadership and unwavering dedication have not only propelled the goals of the Autism Acceptance Club but have also made a tangible difference in the lives of families within our Centre.

“Other potential volunteers should definitely volunteer with the Centre not only because of the many placement opportunities available but also because of the internal sense of accomplishment and happiness that volunteers get from these unique experiences,” Sumeya says. “Volunteering with the Centre has positively impacted my life in numerous ways, but one significant example is how I was able to help families by interpreting the conversation for them when they were meeting with their clinical team. I was able to gain a better understanding of the difficulties families face when trying to increase the quality of life for their children with autism.”

Thank you, Sumeya, for your leadership, dedication, and volunteer service!

Meet Haley!

Haley has been an integral part of our volunteer team since the spring of 2022, initially starting in our PUF program where she provided support to children in their early education journey. Since then, she has extended her reach to our Young Adult Social Night, Kickstart Soccer, and Active for Life programs.

Haley’s journey with us began out of a genuine interest in neurodiversity and developmental psychology, coupled with a desire to gain firsthand experience working with the neurodivergent community.

Her exceptional ability to create authentic connections with participants, fueled by empathy, patience, and understanding, has been a cornerstone of her contributions to every program she’s been involved with. Haley’s presence has not only enabled participants to actively engage but also to flourish and progress within their respective programs.

Out of all her volunteer experiences at the Centre, Haley’s favourite is the time she spent in the PUF program, closely followed by Active for Life. She considers it a privilege to accompany participants on their educational and fitness journeys, cherishing the opportunity to make a meaningful impact in their lives.

For Haley, the opportunity to work with the autistic community has been a transformative experience, encouraging personal growth and honing her skills in problem-solving and adaptability. Above all, it has brought her immeasurable fulfillment and joy she will be forever grateful for.

“One of my favorite memories from volunteering at the Centre was during a session of Active for Life. The participant I was paired with, had always been enthusiastic about running and dancing. During one session, we decided to organize a Zumba class. Seeing their face light up with excitement as they danced to the music, cheered on by their peers, and even made up their own dance moves was truly heartwarming,” Haley says. “It was a moment that truly captured what volunteering at the Centre embodies: empowerment, fostering independence, inclusivity, and creating moments of pure happiness.”

Thank you, Haley, for your compassion, dedication, and volunteer service!

Meet Meaghan!

Meaghan joined our volunteer team in January 2023, bringing with her a wealth of experience and a deep passion for sports. Her expertise shines in our Basketballers and Kickstart Soccer programs, where she guides children with autism through introductory skills and gameplay. Meaghan finds immense joy in sharing her love for sports and connecting with participants over shared interests.

With aspirations to become a Speech-Language Pathologist (SLP), Meaghan eagerly embraces the opportunity to learn from the Centre about communication tools and techniques, and believes the insights gained here not only enrich her volunteering experience but also contribute to her future career endeavours.

Meaghan’s involvement with adaptive sport spans across her volunteering with the Special Olympics club at the University of Alberta and her leadership in running adaptive gymnastics and PE classes. This wealth of experience brings invaluable knowledge to our sports programs at the Centre.

Known for her patience, kindness, and empathy, Meaghan fosters an environment of support and encouragement, where every participant feels valued and empowered to thrive. For her, it’s important that participants feel heard and supported, fostering confidence in their communication skills.

“I hope I impact the participants through being an active listener to them. It’s so important to feel heard, so I always try to give kids my attention and actively show interest and care in what they are saying,” Meaghan says. “The Centre has so much support for their volunteers, and at the same time lots of trust and confidence in their volunteers. Because of these characteristics, your confidence and ability to support individuals with autism grows exponentially.”

Thank you, Meaghan, for your care, dedication, and volunteer service!

Meet Maryam and Warren!

Maryam and Warren are the co-presidents of the Centre for Autism Students’ Association (CFASA) at the University of Alberta and have been dedicated volunteers at the Centre since 2021. In addition to their roles at the university, they also contribute to special events like Family Night.

At the university, Maryam and Warren lead efforts to enhance autism awareness and acceptance. Their initiatives range from organizing fundraising events to running a podcast that explores a variety of neurodiversity topics and features an array of voices, including self-advocates, scientists, and community figures, making significant strides in creating a deeper understanding of autism.

Their commitment to supporting and engaging with underrepresented groups initially drew them to the Centre. Through their leadership, they have created a campus community that not only raises awareness but also champions the acceptance and inclusion of Autistic individuals.

“Volunteering with the Centre has really helped me feel a sense of purpose and that I am part of something bigger than myself,” Maryam says. “With how busy life can get with being a full-time student, we can often be so focused on our own self and own needs. With CFASA, you become a member of a part of a meaningful field of work that focuses on acts of service for the community.”

One of their highlight events is the annual Discovering Autism Conference, which Warren regards as a particularly impactful gathering.

“My favorite moment would have to be helping run our in-person Discovering Autism conference last year. To see so many individuals in the neurodivergent community get together on a Saturday morning to share their thoughts and experiences was an eye-opening experience,” Warren says. “I think that if you choose to volunteer, it’s overall a rewarding experience. You’ll learn a lot about the intricacies of autism, make new connections with like-minded people, and you’ll grow your interpersonal skills and attributes as a volunteer.”

Thank you, Maryam and Warren, for your leadership, dedication, and volunteer services!