January 2012 - Volunteer of the Month

January 2012 - Liliana Arias

 Liliana Arias immigrated to Canada from Colombia in 2006 with her husband and two children looking for better opportunities.

In 2010, Liliana began volunteering with ISC’s Community Initiatives and Access Senior`s Program. This program serves refugee/immigrant seniors who are 55 years and older, services provided include educational workshops, computer classes, basic language instruction, life skills discussions, fitness programs and social activities. Liliana feels that being able to help seniors is always a rewarding task. She said, ``It is really special for me when I can manage to help seniors who have difficulties communicating in English. Not speaking the language is a big barrier and being the link in helping these people is the job I enjoy the most in those programs``.

Liliana also volunteers at the After School Program, which is offered in two community schools in the North East quadrant of the city. It facilitates parents and children’s participation in literacy and play-based activities that promote children’s English language acquisition. Liliana enjoyed the activities with the community specially helping new immigrants.  Sharing time and doing activities with kids is a job she enjoys a lot especially where you have the chance to meet children from different cultures.  Her favourite part is when she plays and does activities with the kids as she feels they are having a great time in the program.

Volunteering allowed Liliana to gain experience in her field of Social work, meet new people from different cultures and backgrounds, and helped her to increase her English language skills. ``Volunteering is a valuable tool for anybody like me, coming to a new country to interact and to get integrated into the new environment; this kind of activity almost unknown in my country but plays an important role in our Canadian society``.

Liliana has contributed more than 200 volunteer hours to ISC by volunteering in other capacities, such as; the Preschool Program and CHIP program. Her vibrant and compassionate personality has impacted multiple generations and cultures. She is a valued member of our volunteer team!

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