This past year, over 1,900 volunteers across Canada gave their time to help Pathways students living in low-income communities. To celebrate this milestone, Pathways volunteers, staff, and students came together during this year’s National Volunteer Week. Here’s what they shared.
Franck (Alumni, Pathways Lachine)
Franck, a 2021 graduate of Pathways Lachine, felt the effects of the pandemic on his education. “At home, there were five of us online, with my mother at work and my brother at school,” Franck recalls. “We would often run into connection problems, and it was really hard to focus with everyone in the house.”
With each lockdown, Franck felt increasingly disconnected from his education, and his marks started to worry his family. But with the help of a dedicated Pathways Program volunteer, he was able to get back on track. The volunteer created slideshows tailored to Franck’s specific learning gaps to ensure that he could achieve his goal: a post-secondary education. “We were meeting online, but I was 100% there with him. My year working with this volunteer was one of the highlights of my time in high school.”
Kacem (Volunteer, Pathways Laval)
The presence of a caring adult can make all the difference in a student’s life. That’s why Kacem, a Pathways Laval volunteer, continues to be involved with the Program. Through his volunteer work, Kacem has met many students who, like Franck, were able to tackle big challenges with a little bit of help. Kacem particularly remembers one student he helped while volunteering as a tutor. After just a few sessions, this youth greatly improved his math grades. “You should have seen him—he was really happy,” Kacem recalls. “I saw him talking about it with his friends, and I couldn’t help but feel a sense of pride.”
Brandon (Staff, Pathways Pointe-Saint-Charles)
These encounters between driven, resilient young people and dedicated volunteers are made possible by Program staff like Brandon, who is the Programs and volunteer coordinator at Pathways Pointe-Saint-Charles. Every day, Brandon sees the positive impact of volunteers in the lives of youth. “Volunteers are showing a generation of young people that there are fundamentally caring and interesting people in the world who just want to help them. That’s a profound message to send to these young people and I applaud the volunteers.”
Volunteers are an essential part of the work we do at Pathways to Education. Each interaction with a volunteer provides Pathways students living in low-income communities with personalized support that puts them one step closer to graduating from high school—and creating a better future for all of us.
These stories from Franck, Kacem and Brandon were collected as part of our French-language Pathways Forum in celebration of National Volunteer Week. If you enjoyed this story and you would like to discover more inspiring stories about volunteering at Pathways, check out this video recording of our English-language Pathways Forum: Changing the Lives of Youth through Volunteering.
Pathways Forum: Changing the Lives of Youth Through Volunteerism
Pathways to Education’s volunteers make an incredible impact on young people—they are part of a diverse network that serve in different roles with unique skills and backgrounds. Our volunteers are classified into 5 different groups: Program Volunteers, Pathways Alumni, Governance Volunteers, Corporate Volunteers and Innovation and Operation Volunteers.
In this Pathways Forum, we discussed the impact our Program Volunteers make by helping to nurture a positive learning environment for students, and work alongside our dedicated programming teams to provide academic and social supports.
- Eli McNeil, Program Volunteer, Pathways Saint John
- Farrell Greczi, Volunteer Coordinator, Pathways Vancouver & Pathways Surrey
- Rakhi, Pathways Alum, Regent Park (2006)
- Muzammil, Pathways Alum, Scarborough Village (2014)
- Quinn Bingham, VP & Chief Development Officer, Pathways to Education Canada