Lauren Stefina has attended Western University for four years and has always felt like something has been missing from her school experience. Many students join clubs, get a job, or do extracurriculars; but that was never enough for Lauren. Volunteering was her answer, and the pay off has been more than rewarding.
Lauren is in school to become an elementary school teacher, therefore; when her professor sent out a list of volunteer possibilities in London she knew which one was right for her. The Mary Mount Family Support and Crisis Centre jumped out because she initially thought it would look good on a resume to work with kids in need. Little did she know it would change her entire outlook on life.
“It is the absolute greatest feeling in the world knowing that you are wanted and needed by someone who doesn’t even know how to walk or talk yet. It is a true need for you”
– Lauren Stefina
Lauren says that she deals with children who have severe anxiety disorders at as young as one year old because of the trauma they have experienced in their home lives. She spoke about a young boy who would cry hysterically whenever someone left the room. She would have to comfort him and he would not feel safe until she specifically held him in her arms. This is where she said she felt that people have the power to make the biggest difference in someone’s life at little to no cost to themselves. She says that if giving up a few hours a week so a young child can feel safe is all it takes, then she would do it for the rest of her life.
Lauren is just one example of how volunteering can change a students experience. Western and Fanshawe offer multiple services that allow students to reach out into the London community and help those in need. Lauren believes that if any student has a few hours a week to spare, they should consider volunteering; not to boost their resume, but to boost their morale.