Honouring Our Volunteers: Kevin Laxamana
In honour of National Volunteer Week, April 18-23, we asked some of our volunteers why they work with REACH, and what they’ve gained from serving the community.
REACH volunteer since: 2015
Q: Why did you decide to volunteer with REACH Edmonton?
A: I started in 2015 as an intern for Kelly through the Serving Communities Internship Program (SCIP). I wanted to give back to the community at that point and I thought REACH was the perfect fit for me because I was majoring in Anthropology and Sociology back then.
Q: What did you gain from volunteering?
I gained a lot of experience. I did the database for resources, ran tables at info fairs, helped with the Winter safety fair. Mostly I helped Kelly with different projects and initiatives, including updating and looking for resources and digitizing them.
REACH nominated me for the Alberta top 30 under 30 Award last year – which I won [link to award]. This opened so many doors for the work that I do and made my work and research more open to the public.
Q: What was your most memorable experience?
Just being mentored by Kelly. Kelly is the highlight of volunteering with REACH. It opened so many doors and connected us to different industries and people.
I think the best thing the one thing I gained for the last few years gained a mentor in Kelly and I think mentorship is a vital experience for youth and people starting their careers. I now consider myself a community builder and that started with REACH.
Volunteering with REACH opened so many doors for me and made me realize there is so much more to do and so much work needs to be done in community work especially with the youth. I believe that community work is self-care, because if the community is healthy the individuals who are part of it will be healthy as well.
It’s an act of service and also a labour of love, that’s how I see it.
If you are volunteering for an org like REACH it is not just volunteering, it’s like having a family outside of your inner circle. I always joke with Kelly I call her my non-profit mama.
For more information about REACH Edmonton’s volunteer program, visit: https://reachedmonton.ca/volunteers/