Accomplishments and Challenges
Passion and the want to give back to her community is where it has all brought her to where she is today. During her second year of university, Tara decided that she wanted to integrate more of her time to being involved with the community she grew up in, and that’s where she found the CEC. She was a part of Early Learning program and was their assistant. Yet, every Wednesday she would be at the location to support and continued to do so for three to four iterations. Her passion for wanting to do more for others and volunteering continued to expand as she also joined the Learning Buddy Network Program shortly afterwards. Tara shared that she always knew she wanted to do Racing Readers because of how much the program aligned with her passion points. Because of conflicts with her academic schedule and the transiting time, becoming a Racing Reader volunteer seemed so far. It was only up until the program went into a virtual formal where she was able to apply and become a volunteer for Racing Reader! Tara’s role as a program volunteer soon transitioned into a Lead Volunteer and then from there, she became the Program and Volunteer Supervisor.
Not only did Tara continue to pursue her love for volunteering, but she has accomplished several things as she has her Bachelor of General Studies in Education, with minors in Early Learning, Social Justice and Curriculum and Instructions, (phew what a lot!). To add on, she is currently pursuing her Bachelor of Education to make her way in becoming an elementary school teacher! As someone who always had lived in the city, been involved with the city, the community aspect has been really important to her. She grew up with programs like the Racing Readers program, and it really supported her learning and development. With her goal of becoming an elementary school teacher, she really wanted to give back more to the community and become a mentor who can be impactful to her students. Tara saw the Racing Readers program to be a perfect opportunity to start where she knew where she wanted to be, and by doing so, she is open to being that person for people to connect with.
Some of the major highlights that Tara shared is the end result of every program. Seeing how students would feel so comfortable and become more talkative was really rewarding for her. Thinking back to her own experiences as a volunteer, Tara knew the challenges that she faced as a volunteer and ultimately wanted to be that support system for other students, whether it be a personal or professional one. She shared one of her more recent proud moments when Kiran, the other Racing Reader Program and Volunteer Supervisor – was her volunteer for two iterations before she evolved into the role.
"It was really amazing to see how someone could grow so much. You don’t really realize it until that thought crosses through your mind.”