5 Reasons to Attend the Community Engagement & Volunteer Fair


On Tuesday, October 3, 2017, the Student Success Centre will be hosting their annual Community Engagement and Volunteer Fair in CIBC Hall (third floor, MUSC).

Last year, I was sent to the fair by one of my professors for an assignment. Little did I know that attending the fair would lead me to further learning opportunities!

At the fair, I was drawn to Fit Active Beautiful (F.A.B.) Foundation, an organization that provides a twelve-week mentorship program for at-risk girls (grades 6-12) in priority neighborhoods across Hamilton. They use the goal-setting skills of training for a 5k marathon as a tool to empower the girls and develop the skills to strive for success in their everyday lives and ambitions.

After submitting my case report for my class about F.A.B., I decided to become a F.A.B. coach!

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My F.A.B. t-shirt along with the F.A.B. 5K Community Challenge run medal and a birthday card from my team!

Volunteering with F.A.B. Foundation had a lasting and profound impact on me. It allowed me to explore more about the City of Hamilton, be active, and grow in my own career and skills development! One highlight of my volunteer experience was joining and witnessing my group of girls cross the finish line at the FAB Girl Community 5k Run on my birthday. As a whole, volunteering with F.A.B. has been a truly rewarding experience.

 

Being part of F.A.B. has also enabled me to achieve and share a personal goal of mine, to start running again, while also giving back and contributing to the community. In addition to this, I received some hands-on experience about alternative ways to empower girls – a passion and part of my academic focus.

If my cheesy story hasn’t convinced you yet, read-on to explore 5 reasons why you should go to the Community Engagement and Volunteer Fair tomorrow.

 

  1. An opportunity to learn how you can share your interests and talents.

If you think volunteering is just working at a soup kitchen or babysitting rowdy children at a camp, think again. At the Community Engagement and Volunteer Fair there are a wide range of opportunities where you can contribute your unique talents, passions, and hobbies. Community engagement consists of more than what you may think. This year you can find booths ranging from PetsInDanger to Hamilton Youth Poets. With the diversity and wide range of community partners coming out, I guarantee you will find your place within one of the organizations!

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  1. This is your sign to try something new and get out of your comfort zone – attending can help you find ways you can gain a new skill or knowledge.

This summer I was asked to help out with a science program for children who are home-schooled. As a Sociology major working along with Life Science volunteers, I thought: Why am I here? What can these children possibly learn from me? After the end of the first week, not only was I learning more about the fascinating topics being covered and adding a creative twist to the activities, I also was learning from the children! While exploring the sciences during this program, I also realized that people of all ages, experiences, and backgrounds have something unique to contribute! So I encourage you to step out of your comfort zone and try something new – there are many partners attending the Fair that welcome interdisciplinary approaches, such as, Let’s Talk Science.

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  1. The Community Engagement and Volunteer Fair is a great place for networking and career development (i.e. resume building).

It’s time to be honest, there are additional motives and benefits that attract students to volunteer – whether it be to improve your resume, look good for post-graduate school, or to build your experience and skills working with a certain age-group or field. Community engagement and partnerships are reciprocal – as you give your time to assist a community, you can gain beneficial experiences that can be used towards career development – job interviews, your resume, references, or even applying for scholarships. Attending the fair can lead you to opportunities that can help you stay competitive in a certain field and job market!

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You go, Rachel – volunteering can help you land your dream job!

  1. Discover more about the awesome movements, services, and programs taking place in the City of Hamilton.

A popular phenomenon among McMaster University students that are new to Hamilton is that we tend to stay within the “McMaster bubble” – consisting of campus, Westdale Village, and the Ainslie Wood community. Attending the fair will give you the opportunity to connect and explore your city beyond the McMaster bubble.

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So grab your map (or download the transit app) and explore your city!

  1. To take a break from your classes and get some hands-on experiences.

It is extremely easy to get lost in the feeling of being trapped inside the McMaster bubble and campus walls. Volunteering outside of campus not only can give you a break from the textbooks and lectures, but also an awesome hands-on learning experience. Volunteering is said to offer possible health benefits ranging from lowering stress to boosting your self-confidence! Various studies have explained the benefits of additional hands-on training and field experiences over relying solely on textbook and lecture-style learning. So why not enhance your learning by getting involved?

 

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You got this!

 

Now that you’ve heard my experiences and read through 5 benefits for getting involved, I hope to see you at the Community Engagement and Volunteer Fair!

 

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