I’ll be the first to admit: I’m a Volunteeraholic.
While my mother could never wrap her head around why anyone would want to work for free (and it wasn’t until I hit old age myself that I’ve come to realize where she was going with that), volunteering comes naturally to me: I’ve always loved to help people, and I’m a firm believer in the concept of noblesse oblige, that it is the duty of those in a position of privilege to assist those who are not because that is the only way we’re going to prosper and thrive together as a society.
I’ve served in a variety of capacities over the years, both big and small. From a grassroots events volunteer to serving on a not-for-profit board and everything in between, if it’s something I’ve never done before that looks like it may be fun, I’m open to it.
I once had to submit a CV for something I was involved in, and I kid you not, the unadbridged section of my volunteer experience hit 11 pages. That’s when I started to admit to myself that I might have a slight problem…
But I love helping out, and I will continue to do so when capacity permits.
Every so often, I’ve also been given the wonderful opportunity to share my thoughts on volunteering and volunteerism in general with members of the general public. Here are some highlights:
- My local Filipino community newspaper asked me how volunteering can help immigrants adjust to living in a new country and improve career prospects.
- In honour of National Volunteer Week 2018, University of Calgary Alumni invited me to speak on a podcast episode about the virtues of volunteering and how it helped change my life.
- As a UCalgary Faculty of Science Alumni Mentor, I was invited to speak at the 2019 edition of their Science Mentorship Career Night on how undergrads could leverage volunteerism in their academic lives and career searches.
Currently, my two big commitments in terms of organizations are the Calgary Stampede and the University of Calgary. However, I continue to help out with many things both big and small, both for grassroots organizations and groups with thousands of people, and you can see what some of those are on my LinkedIn profile.