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Building Confidence and Skills Through Volunteering

Portrait of Emily

Emily was looking for a career change. She was working in retail when she realized that it wasn’t the best fit for her. “I wanted a change because I wanted to gain more skills and experience working in an office environment” Emily shared. She started applying for administrative positions which led to quite a few interviews. “Unfortunately, I never got hired.” She added.

After some research, Emily decided to reach out to Lutherwood Employment Services to enroll in the Youth Job Connection Program (YJC). The two-week series of workshops helped her develop her resume, cover letter and improve her interview skills. “I gained a lot of confidence participating in YJC and my employment advisor, Maria has given me a lot of very helpful advice.”

One piece of advice she received was to obtain office work experience through volunteering. She was introduced to Lutherwood’s Volunteer and Student Placement Coordinator, Verity, to see if there was a fit.

“When she first approached me about volunteering, Emily had so many wonderful things to say about Lutherwood from her experience as an employment client” Verity noted. Together, they prepared for a current volunteer position as an Administrative Volunteer in Mental Health Services, assisting with a project for Lutherwood’s residential program.

At first Emily felt nervous. This was a completely new environment for her and different than any other job she worked before. Luckily though, her nerves didn’t last long. “The admin team I’ve been working with have been so welcoming, patient, helpful and extremely kind in my journey” Emily shared. With their help and guidance, she was able to learn her tasks quickly and realize that this is the type of work she wants to pursue further.

“My life is completely different than it was before I started volunteering at Lutherwood. I wasn’t sure what to expect, I was pleasantly surprised because I’ve never worked in an environment where the people are so passionate about what they do,” Emily added. With her project coming to an end, Emily is updating her resume with the help of her Employment Advisor. She is looking forward to applying the skills she has learned through the YJC program and her volunteering experience in her next job.

When asked one piece of advice to give to those looking to access Lutherwood’s services, she shared “I would say, whatever you’re needing, whether it’s employment, housing, or mental health services, just go for it because everyone I’ve ever met who works at Lutherwood has been so helpful and kind.”