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Kids playing soccer
It paves the way for individual development, keeps youth engaged, and provides positive role models.

The Police Athletic League was initiated by the Vancouver Police Department in 2006.  Its purpose is to develop a healthy rapport between youth and police officers, as well as to prevent them from becoming involved with criminal activities.  This is done through engaging youth through recreational, athletic and educational programs.

Some of the programs include basketball tournaments, soccer schools, and anti-bullying workshops. There is no fee to attend any of the programs or events.

Since I am a kinesiology student, I may be slightly biased about the benefits of being physically active and involved in recreational activities. But if you are physically active you generally know the positive effects that come from breaking a sweat:  it improves mood and develops self-esteem.  Moreover, being a part of a team or club encourages social development.

The PAL is opened to all youth; however, there is a focus on kids who come from lower socioeconomic statuses or more vulnerable backgrounds. As mentioned earlier, one of the great things about PAL is that it is free of cost.  It’s worth mentioning that even the costs for things like juice boxes, snacks and public transportation are covered.  For those of us who haven’t experienced financial burdens, it’s easy to underestimate the value of these items.

And it is exactly for all these reasons that programs like PAL play an integral role in our community.  It paves the way for individual development, keeps youth engaged, and provides positive role models.

Beyond the Blog

SFU Student

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Iceberg Melting
What’s Your Cause? Polar Regions, Climate Change, Cultural Awareness, New Immigrant

Over the course of the past semester, SFU Volunteer Services set out to learn what causes motivate SFU students to get involved in their communities–either on campus or beyond. We collected information through the ENGAGE blog and want to highlight some now in hopes of inspiring others to think about what their cause is and how they can contribute!

Children playing hopscotch
An SFU student perspective on the Big Sisters Study Buddy program

You may have heard of them–you may even have an idea of what they do. But have you ever thought of being one? Big Sisters of BC Lower Mainland has been serving girls in one-to-one mentoring relationships since 1960, with the mission of “enhancing the confidence, self-esteem and well-being of girls through supportive friendships with caring women”. Each Big and Little Sister match gets together once a week for at least one year. 

Mubnii smiling with her hands in an open position, in front of an aquarium
Health Sciences Student Profile: Mubnii Morshed

Heath Sciences offer students one of the most comprehensive and diverse programs, focusing on everything from epidemiology, molecular biology to political science anthropology. These days, there are many volunteer opportunities associated with the Health Sciences.

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Portrait of Robert
Student Profile: Robert Lutener. Filmmaker, Musician and Activist.

A few days before I transitioned from Vancouver to Montreal, I got the opportunity to meet 4th year political science Robert Lutener. On most days, Robert can be spotted at SFU Burnaby campus’ Highland Pub discussing university politics. However, what made me choose Mr. Lutener as an interview subject was the success that his recent documentary Up North: Conversations on the Impacts of Change has generated.

a part of the Kolkata city line
Arrival in Kolkata, India

Kali Penney had three missions when she left on her volunteer co-op to India; to survive living in a developing country for 3 months, to learn about major health issues in Kolkata, India, and to complete work that will have a continuing impact long after she has left the country. In her first article, Kali recounts her arrival in India and introduction to the local culture.

Volunteer!
Volunteer to Enrich Your Co-op Search

Offering up your time and skills for a cause you believe in can also benefit your career. There is great value in putting yourself out there, to discover what you love doing, or to expand on your skills doing what you love.