I’m a third year psychology major and fairly new to Kwantlen. Straight out of high school I studied for two years at the University of Lethbridge, which is pretty close to my hometown, Fernie, B.C. Shortly after, I lived in Australia and travelled Europe a few times, until ultimately deciding I didn't like working for minimum wage.
I’ve now been volunteering with START and attending Kwantlen since January. It’s starting to feel like I’m at school everyday, now that I’m working for Student Life and Development. However, I do find it enjoyable recognizing familiar faces around campus and becoming more involved with student life!
After graduation, I plan to attend graduate school, but I’m still deciding between a masters in business, or counselling psychology. Until then I will continue volunteer for the delicious food events and write for the START newsletter!
Eloise Liu was our most valued volunteer in 2013. She has banked over 130 hours of volunteer work.
Eloise is an international student and has been volunteering since December. Food events are her favourite to volunteer for, but who can blame her?
Eloise’s main reason for joining the team was to master English and meet new people. She explained, “I am quite active and outgoing and especially like to participate various activities. It is great to communicate with different people.”
After graduation from KPU, she plans to pursue accounting. For now, Eloise is just focusing on school and working on her interpersonal skills.
Angelie was motivated by an orientation leader to volunteer with START and has been working with the program since January. "The sense of accomplishment and happiness you get from helping out," is what Suarez says keeps her coming back for more.
Angelie is in her first year of Marketing Management at Kwantlen and hopes to work in the field of advertising. Even now and then, she is a remote tester for PS3 games, but this doesn't distract from her studies. In fact she's having a "tougher time dealing with all the group projects and meetings from the marketing program!" Luckily she always makes a list and checks it twice.
Angelie joined the program because she wanted to "come out of her shell, make new friends, and gain experiences." Her favorite event has been the Canada Day BBQ at Surrey…. many of us volunteers shared in this experience of "free food and great music!"
Nikki Cheng has been volunteering since January 2013. Volunteer work was on top of her part-time employment at an app studio in Richmond, and full-time Associate of Arts Degree.
Nikki has become a valued volunteer and has dedicated her time to events like “movie night,” which has been her favourite event because of the “relaxing atmosphere.” I asked Nikki how she balances this busy schedule, to which she explained, “I organize a plan and practice time management.”
Nikki came to us from Zhengzhou, China and ultimately dreams of becoming an Editor. She has been working towards this dream by dedicating some of her time to editing a website called Weibo, which is a “Chinese Twitter.”
Monica Mah backpacked Europe with her sister and shortly after she decided to join Kwantlen for the Sociology program. Monica wanted to “meet new people, help out in the community, and also get more involved with school.”
Monica's goal is to become a social worker, so naturally her favourite event has been the food drive, because of its “obvious benefits to people in need.”
Just like Nikki, Monica also balances a part-time job at Save-On-Foods. She works as a florist and tries to volunteer as much as she can between this and school. Monica has been a volunteer with START for a year now and has proven to be very valuable member to the program!
Volunteering with START (Students Taking an Active Role Together) over the past year has been such a great opportunity and experience.
What I will remember most out of it are the people I have met and been able to work with. I have met new friends and learned more about what the university can offer. Also, I have learned more about what it is like to work with a team. Good teamwork means being able to work together effectively, even under pressure. Volunteering for the different events on campus has definitely improved my communication and leadership skills.
I like making people happy and volunteering with START has given me that opportunity. I realized the power of a smile, good cheer, and enthusiasm. I am proud to be a part of something that enriches the university experience. I realize that what I do does make a difference, and at the end of the day my effort matters. There's also room for being you, having fun, and being creative. There's always something new and the people around you welcome ideas.
By being a member of START, I was able to take Food Safe and it opened many opportunities for me. Each month, when I had more than a certain number of volunteer hours, I got free movie tickets. I was also able to print for free at the KSA Member Services. The volunteer outings have always been a great perk since there are always fun activities like going to Playland, bowling, watching movie, all with the people you volunteer with. What makes it even better is I get a very good discount at Grassroots Cafe (where you can find some really good food).
All in all, START has made my university life much more exciting. I'd definitely recommend it to people who have a passion for making a difference, trying new things, and meeting people!
Becoming a volunteer for START Program has been one of the most valuable experiences in my school life at Kwantlen. I can still remember those lovely people who were helping new students during welcome week of my first semester at Kwantlen. They were wearing a green t-shirt; they have a meaningful name as well - START Volunteers. It was hard to forget. I put on the green t-shirt and joined this amazing and enthusiastic group of people after a cold winter. We had tons of fun volunteering with our passionate volunteers and staffs supporting different events, and taking part in a PSA for Other Half Chinese Stem Cell Initiative. We volunteer become friends, or even more like a big family. We have not only gained lots of friends from START, but also lots of valuable experience and skills for our future career. I want to say I am proud of being a part of START; I wish I can give back more to our START Program if I have more time at school.