Community YMCA Youth Volunteer: Caitlin Taverner

Why do you volunteer?

Volunteering is important to me because I believe that to live an abundant life we must balance giving and receiving. I love to help people in any way I can.

Why do you volunteer with the YMCA specifically?

I began volunteering with the YMCA because it was my way of giving back for all the years of support I’ve had from the YMCA. I’m so thankful that I had the Aboriginal programs with the YMCA as a big part of my life and to give back I enjoy volunteering in these same programs I once took part in. I love having opportunities to share my indigenous pride through dancing, volunteering, speaking for and supporting my community.

What is your favorite part about volunteering?

My favourite thing about volunteering is working with young kids! I love helping them learn new things and being there to encourage them. I have volunteered with kids in a elementary school for special needs children, Aboriginal Buddies as well as teaching indigenous dancing to young kids. It’s so much fun getting them engaged and excited to learn.

What is your YMCA Story?

In elementary school, 10 years ago, I heard about Aboriginal Buddies through my school and had also recently taken interest in learning more about my heritage. With excitement, I handed in my form to my leader and I became a part of the first nations community, something that unexpectedly changed my life forever. In 10 years I have completed Aboriginal Buddies and Vision Seekers. I also participated in a 4 year pilot projects called Circle of Supports and it was in these programs I was encouraged to grow myself as a person and taught how to do so using the 7 Sacred Teachings and the YMCA’s 4 core values. The things that I learned about myself and about life are teachings that are my foundation for living a healthy lifestyle.