- Why did you choose to volunteer with NITEO?
After UBCO announced that classes were going back in person back in 2021, I realized that I wanted to do more with my time than just study. So, through the Student Experience Office at UBCO, I heard about NITEO for the first time. I chose to volunteer with NITEO because I wanted to have more experience supporting kids and families, and I saw this as a good chance to improve my English skills since my first language is not English.
2. What was your first day like? Were you nervous/excited/etc?
On my first day, I was nervous, excited, and curious. This was the first time I was a reading mentor so that was completely new to me, and even though I wasn’t sure I was doing a great job I realized that with time I started getting the hang out of it and I became more comfortable with the family that was assigned to me.
3. What have been your favorite parts of volunteering as Reading Mentor?
Every week we (i.e., families and volunteers) started the program with an icebreaker and story time. Even though we were in the circle for a few minutes it was very nice getting to know everyone and we always had a laugh.
4. How has the time commitment been?
For me, the time commitment was easy to manage. The program was once a week, and the time commitment was approximately 2 hours.
5. Are there any memorable moments from the past year?
It was very rewarding to see how kids volunteered to read during circle time. This was a good sign that they were feeling more comfortable with their reading skills, and it was an amazing opportunity for them to challenge themselves and build their confidence.
6. Have you learned anything about other cultures through this experience?
Attending this program made me reflect on the role that family has no matter what your culture is. It is such as important support system, especially when you are not in your home country.