21Jul2024
EN

Category: Volunteering

cyville
Volunteering

Volunteer Spotlight: Cyville Castro 

Volunteers are vital to the success of our organization, and we are grateful for the hundreds of hours our volunteers dedicate to the work of the Canadian Pride Historical Society. This volunteer spotlight is for Cyville Castro, one of our Graphic Design Coordinators based out of Vancouver, BC, read more below. 

How did you first learn about the CPHS? 

I first learned about CPHS from Charity Village. I was looking for some design-related work in the non-profit sector and the organization caught my interest. Their values resonated so much with me, not only because I’m a part of the GSRD umbrella, I am also quite passionate about creating societal change through education, and CPHS gives me the opportunity to do just that. 

How do you balance your volunteer time at the CPHS with your other competing priorities? 

I take it one week at a time and avoid putting pressure on myself. I genuinely enjoy what I do at the organization, and as long as I can sustain that motivation, I will find the time to put in some work into it. It does get challenging at times. Some weeks I just have too much going on and I don’t have time for volunteer work. It’s okay. We’re a team and that means it’s okay to rely on one another especially when it gets too overwhelming. What’s important is clearly communicating with your team and enjoying the work that you do. 

What do you like the most about the CPHS? 

I like everything CPHS stands for, but I especially love how supportive everyone is in the organization. Everyone is offering their labour for free, that means there is a relaxed and friendly energy that you just won’t find anywhere else. 

What has been your favourite project at the CPHS? 

My favourite project at CPHS is the game I’ve been working on since I started volunteering here. I’m creating an educational video-game that walks you through the stories of Canadian pride history. It’s been a slow process and I’ve had to learn so many things from scratch, but it’s also been very rewarding. The goal is to create something that people will enjoy and at the same time, learn from. I’m hoping to release the first part of the game some time next year. 

natasha
Volunteering

Volunteers are vital to the success of our organization, and we are grateful for the hundreds of hours our volunteers dedicate to the work of the Canadian Pride Historical Society. This volunteer spotlight is for Natasha Comand, our Sr. Education Coordinator based out of Woodbridge, Ontario. Watch the video or read more below.



 

 

Before volunteering at the CPHS, what was the most unusual or interesting volunteer job you’ve ever had? 

Before volunteering with CPHS, I was a volunteer with The Peer Project: Youth Assisting Youth. This organization pairs adult mentors with at-risk and newcomer youth, for a 1:1 peer mentoring relationship. The contract for this role stated that mentors and mentees must meet once a week for 3 hours, for the duration of one year. In this role, I was matched with a youth in my area and formed a very strong relationship with her, not only during out time together through this program, but also once it ended. We continued to meet with each other for a few years and still keep in contact to this day as well.  

How has the CPHS helped you in your professional development? 

Within my professional development, CPHS has helped me to not only learn, but implement valuable skills that can be essential in the workplace. As a recent graduate, CPHS has allowed me to gain experience in my career field and further develop the skills and knowledge needed to advance in my professional development.  

What are 3 words to describe the CPHS? 

Three words that describe CPHS are: inclusive, authentic, and innovative  

What do you like the most about the CPHS? 

What I like most about CPHS is the collaboration aspect of the work and the ability to interact with other volunteers and members from different areas within the organization. I also really enjoy the fact that I am constantly learning in my role with CPHS and can see my growth as a person, since joining the team.  

What drew you to the CPHS originally? How has the CPHS changed since you’ve joined? 

I was originally drawn to CPHS because I was finishing my last year of graduate school, where I was completing a Master of Education in Curriculum & Pedagogy, and I felt as though CPHS was a perfect fit for me and aligned well with my career goals and interests. The role of education coordinator was exactly what I was looking for in a future career, so I felt that starting off as a volunteer in this role would be a perfect way to gain the experience and exposure needed, while making a difference at the same time. Since I joined CPHS almost a year ago, they have grown immensely, and it’s been so rewarding to be a part of this journey.  When I first joined, we had yet to launch in the schools and were still putting together materials and lesson plans, so it has been nice to see everything fall into place., and to be with the team as we continue to grow and expand.  

What is your proudest moment at the CPHS? 

My proudest moment with CPHS has been my promotion to Senior Education Coordinator, as this has allowed me to continue growing and learning as a member of CPHS, in a somewhat more challenging role. It’s also allowed me to interact with more members of different teams within our organization, and to learn even more valuable skills as I continue with this new role. 

pexels-pixabay-159711 (1)
Volunteering

Volunteers are vital to the success of our organization, and we are grateful for the hundreds of hours our volunteers dedicate to the work of the Canadian Pride Historical Society. This volunteer spotlight is for Maria-Lise Dobri, one of our Sr. Research Coordinators based out of Whitby, Ontario, read more below.

What advice do you have for prospective volunteers for the CPHS?

The advice that I have for prospective volunteers is to go for it! Since the research is being done online, there’s a great deal of flexibility in how and when you complete your work.

What are 3 words to describe the CPHS?

My 3 words would be: preservation, access, and memory.

What do you like the most about the CPHS?

What I like most about volunteering at the CPHS is the variety of work that I’ve been able to do. As a Research Coordinator, I was searching for information about the history of Pride in Edmonton, and it always felt great to find what I was looking for. In my role as a Senior Research Coordinator, I’m able to work with others and provide support for them. Being able to serve in different roles means that I’m always learning something new.

What drew you to the CPHS originally? How has the CPHS changed since you’ve joined?

I was first drawn to the CPHS by the mission. As someone with a background in history, I’m all too aware of how easy it is for information to get lost. Preservation must be an active process and it’s one that I’m interested in participating in. I joined the CPHS less than a year ago and soon it will start launching the parts of the project designed for users, like the Pride Profiles, so there’s been a change to focus on those aspects — how to present information rather than gathering it.

Vibha
Volunteering

Volunteers are vital to the success of our organization, and we are grateful for the hundreds of hours our volunteers dedicate to the work of the Canadian Pride Historical Society. This volunteer spotlight is for Vibha Bhat, one of our Research Coordinators based out of Toronto, Ontario, read more below.

Before volunteering at the CPHS, what was the most unusual or interesting volunteer job you’ve ever had?

I am passionate about interacting with people from various backgrounds and in different stages in life. It helps me communicate more effectively. With that in mind, I have volunteered at a local organization which educated new mothers on important aspects of child care, and helped them choose cloth diapers over disposables as we head towards a more sustainable environment.

How did you first learn about the CPHS?

I learned about it through Charity Village. I did further research on my own, which peaked my interest tremendously.

How do you balance your volunteer time at the CPHS with your other competing priorities?

Since the hours of volunteering at CPHS are flexible, I would be able to dedicate my time on the weekends.

How has the CPHS helped you in your professional development?

CPHS gives me the opportunity to interact with professionals from different backgrounds and slightly different time zones, so it helps me hone my interpersonal and collaboration skills. I would also be able to improve my time management skills, as well as make a meaningful and positive impact on the lives of those around me.

What are 3 words to describe the CPHS?

Making a difference.

What has been your favourite project at the CPHS?

I am a google-a-holic(if that is a word). I love to research and so my favorite project is finding references on past Pride Parades.

What is your proudest moment at the CPHS?

My proudest moment would definitely be getting the opportunity to contribute to the LinkedIn page.

What advice do you have for prospective volunteers for the CPHS?

This opportunity will help you develop key soft skills which will be easily translated to your career, so give it your best. Enjoy every minute of knowing you are contributing to documenting Pride history and educating young minds about it.

jessica
Volunteering

Volunteers are vital to the success of our organization, and we are grateful for the hundreds of hours our volunteers dedicate to the work of the Canadian Pride Historical Society. This volunteer spotlight is for Jessica Klauke, one of our Sr. Research Coordinators based out of Oshawa, Ontario, read more below.

Before volunteering at the CPHS, what was the most unusual or interesting volunteer job you’ve ever had?

Prior to volunteering a CPHS the most interesting volunteer position I had was acting as a mentor for a week-long summer camp program with PFLAG. It was an incredible opportunity working with such a supportive group of teens and fellow mentors.

What advice do you have for prospective volunteers for the CPHS?

Some advice I have for prospective volunteers is because everything is done online it is helpful to set a consistent time in your week to work on assignments. This ensures that you will always have a block of time within your week to accomplish assigned tasks.

What are 3 words to describe the CPHS?

Three words I would use to describe CPHS are growing, exciting, and inclusive.

What do you find the most challenging at the CPHS?

What I find most challenging about my role is prioritizing my tasks. While I have a variety of tasks I need to complete, I also want to ensure that my research team can confidently complete their tasks.

What do you like the most about the CPHS?

What I enjoy doing the most is reaching out to people and being able to gather information either via email or interview. All the interactions I have had have been very positive and it is enjoyable listening to people talk about their experiences.

What is your proudest moment at the CPHS?

My proudest moment at CPHS, thus far, is being promoted to the role of Senior Research Coordinator. This is a role that challenges me, and I quite enjoy doing it.

priya
Volunteering

Volunteers are vital to the success of our organization, and we are grateful for the hundreds of hours our volunteers dedicate to the work of the Canadian Pride Historical Society. This volunteer spotlight is for Priya Sivarajan, one of our Research Coordinators based out of Toronto, Ontario, read more below.

Before volunteering at the CPHS, what was the most unusual or interesting volunteer job you’ve ever had? 

Before volunteering at the CPHS, the most interesting volunteer job I had was working as a program assistant for the CanSkate program at my local rink. I began when I was 11 and did it just until the pandemic began, and loved getting to teach skaters of all different skill levels, and see them come to love skating just as much as I did! I was never doing quite the same thing: sometimes I’d teach just one completely new skater, or I’d teach a whole group of nearly ten, or I’d come up with fun games we could play. I learned a lot about communication and creativity, and came to love my sport in a whole new way.

How has the CPHS helped you in your professional development?

The CPHS has helped me learn to become a more resourceful researcher, and a better problem-solver. This has helped me in my academics, as I have become more efficient at finding what I need for papers and assignments. I also know that this will help me in my summer job this year, as I will have to learn many new things and solve problems I have never before come across.

What do you find the most challenging at the CPHS?

I find that learning more about the smaller, rural Prides can be quite difficult. These are such an interesting and vital part of what Pride in Canada is and can be, but due to their smaller community sizes, information can be a bit more difficult to come by. But I find that only makes it more rewarding when you’re able to find a novel way to find the information you’re looking for.

What do you like the most about the CPHS?

What I like most about the CPHS is that it’s ever-evolving – we’re always looking for ways to get even better and accomplish our mission in new ways. We’re never doing the same thing in the same way, which makes it so much more interesting to do this research.

Vassan Aruljothi – Profile Photo
Volunteering

Volunteers are vital to the success of our organization, and we are grateful for the hundreds of hours our volunteers dedicate to the work of the Canadian Pride Historical Society. This volunteer spotlight is for Vassan Aruljothi.

Ben Wiersma picture
Education ProjectVolunteering

Volunteers are vital to the success of our organization, and we are grateful for the hundreds of hours our volunteers dedicate to the work of the Canadian Pride Historical Society. This volunteer spotlight is for Ben Wiersma, one of our Board Members, read more below.

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