Windsor Essex Students Celebrated For Volunteering To Help The Community

Student volunteerism is being celebrated with a recognition of the Change The World initiative in Windsor.

An event at the Community Garden at the Unemployed Help Centre marked the way youth have helped.

The United Way supported program has involved 3704 students from 17 schools and the YMCA over 7 years.

In that time, 14,114 hours have been volunteered by the students aged 14 to 18.

Katrina Bahnam, in Grade 12 at St. Joseph's High School was presented a certificate of appreciation for being the most valuable volunteer.

Katrina Bahnam (r) presented with the 2017 volunteering award

Katrina Bahman presented with an award for volunteering close to 1400 hours (by AM800's Peter Langille)

She has volunteered nearly 1400 hours in a number of organizations starting with her own church parish: "a neighbor approached me and I started working respite care, free of charge, and after that I think pepole just kept coming up to me with all these opportunities so I never learned how to say no and that's about it"

Bahnam says one program at her school - Best Buddies - has been the most rewarding.  It partners students in the life skills program with another student and helps them get involved in the community.

Nicodem Rybarczyk is a WE Students United Ambassador who says this shows youth are making a difference:  "I wanted to volunteer more, get out there, help the community so that's really important to me I think volunteering is very important because there's always something to do in the city everyone always needs help.  There's always some kind of event going on or promotion or awareness so it's great to be a part of that"

Students from several schools including Walkerville Collegiate, St. Joe's and Catholic Central have been helping to plant the Community Garden at the Cantelon Drive centre.