Renison student volunteers at Schlegel Village

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

This Week at Renison caught up with her to hear her story...
Hannah Sesink talks about her volunteer experience on Random Act of Kindness DayLast week we told you about our student-led initiative to bring kindness to students around the University of Waterloo main campus through various activities organized by our Bridge to Academic Success (BASE) program. On the same day, a number of students from Waterloo volunteered their time at Schlegel Village, including one of our own Social Development Studies students, Hannah Sesink. We caught up with Hannah last week to ask her about volunteering, and here is what she had to say...

1)      Tell about yourself, the program you are in and what your goals are for your degree?
I am in my 3A term doing a Joint Honours in Recreation and Leisure Studies and Social Development Studies with a minor in Psychology. I hope to attend teacher's college in Australia following my undergrad and one day become a teacher.

2)      Tell why you volunteered at Schlegel Village for RAK day? What were you looking to accomplish? What kind of reaction were you hoping to get from the residents?
I volunteered at Schlegel Village for RAK day with Warrior Tribe, a Feds Service committed to building school spirit within the University. I was the Director of Sponsorship and Philanthropy this term and am the Coordinator next term, so my involvement at RAK day was important for our service. I was hoping to spread some joy while volunteering there. I absolutely love seeing people happy and the residents were absolutely thrilled to interact with our students. Going in, I hoped to make at least one person smile, and I can say with certainty that I did!

3)      What kind of influences did you draw from that made you want to make a difference?
I have always enjoyed volunteering. Even as a teenager, when people would ask me what I like to do, I would choose volunteering. I grew up watching my parents volunteer their time. Whether it was at school doing Food Days or coaching my soccer team, they were always willing to lend a hand. These values were instilled at an early age and I have been a committed volunteer for as long as I can remember. My desire to make a difference comes from the bottom of my heart. I want to give back, I want people to feel good about themselves, and if I can have any part in that, it brings me great joy. 

4)      What kind of plan were the volunteers given when they went to Schlegel Village?
There were many stations at Schlegel Village. There were performances, and students were doing nails and giving hand massages, making crafts and cards. Students were given an activity beforehand and helped set up, participate in and then clean up the activity. We were there for only a couple of hours so most students stayed at one activity for most of the time. I had the opportunity to play Euchre with a great group of residents! I got to know about six different people and had a great time. Near the end, Danielle Burt and I crowned residents with "Warrior Tribe" helmets and welcomed them as Waterloo Warriors!

5)      What kind of other opportunities are there for people who want to volunteer or get involved?
There are many opportunities for people who want to volunteer, both at Shlegel Village and at the University. Many students who attend RAK Day picked up volunteer forms and were very excited to go back. At the University, volunteers are always needed for clubs, services and day-long activities. I'd recommend checking out Leads for more information!

6)      Did the day go as planned?
I think the day went as planned! There was lots of interaction between students and residents and lots of different activities for every type of person. If you just wanted to sit and chat, we had students around to converse with. Other residents wanted a taste of everything, and we all worked together to ensure they got what they were looking for.

7)      Would you have regretted not going?
I most definitely would have regretted not going. I missed it last year, and I was really sorry not to be a part of it. It was such an amazing experience, getting to know other members of both the university community and the greater Waterloo community. It was an incredibly memorable experience, and I am already looking forward to next year!