I moved around a lot growing up and saw my parents volunteer and get involved in the community everywhere we went. That was likely the first motivator that I recognized at an early age. I also had a life-changing moment when I was 22 years old, at a marketing conference where I saw the philanthopist John Wood (Founder of Room to Read and author of Leaving Microsoft to Change the World) speak. This was my awakening. Only then did I truly grasp the gratitude that I now have for the circumstances I was born into. It was my realization then, that I had to take my place in this world and pay it forward. Since that moment I've traveled around Africa, India and Central America volunteering, while getting very involved in each community I've lived in as well.
Which cause are you most passionate about and why?
I care deeply about gender issues because I believe women hold up half the sky and it's vital to our evolution as a human race that our voices are heard on a fair and equal level. I have spent time in India working with women and adolescent girls, and have also spent time with executives and the elite 1% at board tables in the West, and it's appalling that inequality is still happening at all levels.
Why do you volunteer? I moved to Kelowna just over 2 years ago and getting involved with TEDxKelowna helped me to develop new skills, give a voice to members of our community and meet an awesome group of people that became great friends.
Volunteering allowed me to feel like I was part of this community, that I belonged and that I was contributing to making it a better place. I want to hear your story - why do you volunteer?