Three cheers for Pathways volunteers!

Volunteers are crucial to our work of building pathways to success for all youth, and we are humbled by their commitment to the education, well-being, and success of Pathways youth.  

Three cheers for Pathways volunteers!

Volunteers are crucial to our work of building pathways to success for all youth, and we are humbled by their commitment to the education, well-being, and success of Pathways youth.  

In celebration of National Volunteer Week, we invited Pathways alumni and volunteers to share their experiences with our community.
Read their messages below and feel free to add your own here.

Quand j’étais petite, j’avais beaucoup difficultés en français. J’avais tellement de difficulté que je me suis fait parler de l’aide aux devoirs. J’étais quand même retissante à l’idée d’être tellement nul que je devais me faire aider. Je me suis dit que j’avais rien à perdre donc j’ai commencé ça. J’avais déjà des bonnes notes dans les autres matières et je voulais que mon français s’egalise. Avec l’aide aux devoirs, j’étais assidue et je voyais mes notes augmenter. Rendu au secondaire, j’aidais les gens dans les devoirs parce que je me faisais aider et je voulais retourner la chandelle. J’aidais autant les jeunes que je gardais que les élèves dans ma classe. C’était un beau passe-temps. Rendu au cégep, avec beaucoup de cours et un horaire chargé, je n’avais pas nécessairement le temps de m’impliquer autant qu’au secondaire et avec le CJE, j’ai retrouvé le sentiment d’accomplissement que j’avais!

From: Volunteer Helly-ange A.

Salut,je suis bénévole à Passeport depuis 3 ans. J’ai toujours eu à cœur de soutenir les jeunes dans leurs études, ayant eu la chance moi-même d’avoir des parents très présents, j’ai toujours eu conscience de l’importance de se sentir accompagné et soutenu dan son parcours. C’est la raison principale de mon engagement auprès des jeunes de Shawinigan. On parle d’engagement mais c’est vraiment peu de choses, une à deux heures par semaine, échanger et soutenir ces jeunes est une expérience en soit, l’importance de comprendre leur dynamique et leur défi, c’est une cure de jouvence qui nous fait voir le monde de leur point de vue.J’ai eu la chance de rencontrer tellement d’adolescents intéressants et ouverts. Quand tu fais ça sur plusieurs années, tu les vois grandir, entrer dans l’âge adulte et murir. Trop souvent on ne considère pas ou peu la vision des jeunes alors qu’elle est totalement complémentaire à notre perception de la société.Je finis en saluant le travail des équipes de passeport, un engagement sans failles au service des jeunes et de leur avenir. Indispensable pour beaucoup et utile pour tout le monde.

From: Volunteer Vincent H.

Before joining the pathways program, I realized that my grades were not high as how I wanted them to be. There were times where I wanted to give up because I had a hard time motivating myself; but ever since I joined the pathways program, I started getting the support and advice I needed during my academic journey. I’ve seen changes, not only within my academic performances, but also within myself–receiving help with my homework from a volunteer, I started being more committed to my work and more motivated. The volunteer supported me throughout the 4 years of my high school life and never once gave up on me. My SPSW also helped me to become successful in my academic journey by keeping up with my academic performances and making sure I was staying on track. I will forever be grateful towards the pathways program for helping me to become successful and guiding me into post-secondary. Pathways to education has helped me, and I’m sure they will help many others too.

From: Alumni Kada H.

I had the wonderful privilege of being a part of the Pathways Regent family as a staff member a few years ago. Our volunteers were an integral part of our programming. They gave much-needed support to staff and students. They were an inspiring presence to our students who both learned from them at the tutoring centre and leaned on them in the community. I always felt like I could depend on our volunteers, who brought valuable expertise and care to their roles. Thank you to all Pathways volunteers!!!

From: Volunteer Emma D.

I was a volunteer tutor at Regent Park in 2008-09. Each week, I was consistently impressed by the genuine caring nature of the staff and the amazing rapport they had with the students. It was clear they really knew the personalities of the students and worked diligently to foster a nurturing environment where students felt comfortable to learn. It is so heartwarming to read the reflections of former students on their experiences with Pathways and to know that this is still in place today. Keep up the outstanding work, everyone!

From: Volunteer Mike K.

I had the most wonderful experience as an academic support at Scarborough Village. When pandemic forced us to switched into virtual programs, I felt sad because I love meeting the students and staff in person. Nothing can replace human face to face interaction.The most rewarding part of being an academic support are, when I saw students’ academic progress and heard that they are accepted in the University! These motivates me to contribute more. To all students………………continue striving for your dream, remain humble, work hard, have faith and aim for the best! Jennifer S.

From: Volunteer Jennifer S.

Pathways volunteers supported my studies, gave me a safe space to discuss concerns during my time in pathways in high school and were in some ways surrogate parents and teachers as well as mentors I will always hold near and dear to my heart. They supported me in every way possible. I would like to give a huge shoutout to Peter who helped me graduate with math and chemistry and also to Brent because he mentored me all throughout my Pathways journey. I don’t know where I would be if it wasn’t for pathways and these phenomenal volunteers. As soon as pandemic is over I will volunteer to be a mentor with my local Pathways chapter.

From: Alumni Mariam E.

I am a volunteer on the Research Advisory Council for Pathways Canada. I am thrilled to offer my time, insight and skill to support the fabulous Research and Evaluation staff at Pathways Canada so that we can support the success of students. Behind the scenes, we aim to collect useful data to understand how programs meet their goals. I really like how Pathways gathers student testimonials and keeps the success and support of students at the forefront of research. Being a volunteer allows me to learn so much about the dreams and educational successes of young Canadians and how we can best support them with quality research.

From: Volunteer Kate T.

I can’t thank Pathways to Education and the amazing volunteers in the program enough. From travelling on my first trip outside of Canada, to starting a business instead of returning to my part-time job, to choosing a career and ultimately working in it for over 10 years now – all that, and more, has been thanks to support and guidance from a few Pathways to Education volunteers that really made an impact on my life. From the bottom of my heart, thank you for everything you do! I know I speak on behalf of my fellow Pathways to Education alumni when I say that we truly appreciate all your hard work and mentorship!

From: Alumni Shub S.

Pathways has been a huge part of my academic journey. They have always supported my dreams to become a physician whether it was through mentorship in high school, internship opportunities during university or simple things like creating an alumni community that is so open to sharing and learning from each others’ experiences. The volunteers and staff at Pathways have inspired me to volunteer and give back to my community as well, and I hope to continue doing so in the future to this wonderful organization.

From: Volunteer Faiha F.

Mentoring was a huge part of my journey with Pathways to Education. I vividly remember that the volunteers who supported the program through volunteering their time made a significant difference in shaping the person I am today. From being a point of contact between my community and me to being an ongoing resource of engagement to creating a brave environment, it is because of the volunteers who dedicate their time to see students succeed that we can proudly call ourselves the Pathways Alum team. Massive thank you to each and every one of you. 🙂

From: Alumni Hamshaa S.

I graduated through Pathways Regent, and had the opportunity to go back and volunteer in the community that has contributed into who I am today. The program was my saving grace, literally picked me up from poverty and exposed me to a world I thought was beyond my scope. It created a healthy space for me to be seen and also created a platform filled with so many opportunities. Through the program I got a full ride scholarship into McMaster University and secured a summer internship at St. Michaels Hospital. This opportunity validated my desire to study Medicine. Today not only am I an MD, am also an International TEDx Speaker, Coach and Mentor. My story has led me to meet the phenomenal Oprah Winfrey. Thankful to Pathways for believing in me before the world did.

From: Alumni Nothabo N.