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#NationalVolunteerWeek2021 Zoran’s Story | Vancouver Community College Foundation

Giving back to the community has seen a lot of changes this past year but the one thing that has remained constant is volunteers working hard to do good! This National Volunteer Week, Heartpress #BrokersOfGood is celebrating 22.7 million volunteers across Canada by featuring stories from local volunteers in action. This week we spoke with Zoran who is a volunteer with the Vancouver Community College Foundation. 

Vancouver Community College Foundation

The foundation’s mission is to stimulate financial support for students and programs at Vancouver Community College. They seek donations and steward donors and donations which are key areas of focus for the VCC Foundation. Without the VCC Foundation, many VCC students would not be able to complete their post-secondary education. The generosity of donors who fund scholarships, bursaries, and enhancement in learning spaces and equipment help to also enhance student learning. The VCC Foundation ensures that every gift makes an impact. 

Describe your volunteer role with the Vancouver Community College Foundation

I have had the pleasure of serving on the VCC Foundation Board since November 2017.

Did you need any special skills or past experience for this position?

I think my prior board experience was helpful, as well as the ability to communicate with seasoned executives and think strategically to provide insights and add value to the organization. 

How did you find out about the Community College Foundation and their volunteer positions?

I am a proud VCC alumnus, having graduated from the Hospitality Management program in 2010. It was a fantastic program where I fell in love with VCC and its purpose in the community that inspired me to continue my involvement. 

How long have you been a volunteer?

I started volunteering as soon as I started studying at VCC and never stopped. I met Nancy Nesbitt, who is now the Executive Director of the VCC Foundation, at the Student Leadership Club as early as 2009. We’ve been collaborating on different initiatives ever since. I served as a student representative on VCC Ed Council, where I learned how to participate in meetings governed by Robert’s Rules of Order. I was also the chair of the VCC Alumni Leadership Council for a couple of years. There were also a couple of more volunteer roles along the way. 

Why did you decide to volunteer?

I was an international student and wanted to understand better Canadian ways of doing things. But soon after, I realized how rewarding volunteer work is, and I was hooked.

If you volunteered during 2020/2021, what are some challenges/changes that happened?

Zoom meetings are not as exciting as in-person meetings, but we made it work. The loss of human interaction is definitely a big factor in making meetings less fun and exciting. 

What advice would you give to others who are looking to volunteer?

The advice I would give is start as soon as you can and give it all you got. The more you give, the more you will receive. And if you are an international student, you will learn more from volunteering than from your program when it comes to soft skills, which is crucial for success. 

Inspired? Read more Volunteer Stories:

Thinking About Volunteering?

Despite COVID-19, there are still ways to safely volunteer from the comfort of your own home. #BrokersOfGood has opportunities to become a virtual volunteer with non-profit organizations. Sign up with us today to get started!

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