“At first, as with any teenager, I was like ‘uhhh do I have to volunteer?’”
It started as a requirement for service hours and continued into a life changing experience. Eighteen year old, Nadia Niky, has involved herself in numerous volunteer and community initiatives throughout her high school career and now has high ambitions to take it global!
After only just completing her secondary studies, Nadia is already what many would consider a true inspiration. She has already backpacked Europe, where she ‘found herself’, and graduated from high school, all the while being involved in mentoring and the blood donations committee, as well as many more achievements she humbly discusses.
She has been a volunteer mentor or a ‘buddy’ once a week, to a younger child with Big Brothers of Greater Vancouver for the past two years. She describes how this rewarding experience has allowed her to “try to influence the future youth in a way to inspire them” as a lot of them have been hit with family and life issues, issues they need to talk about. Now, although Niky would not be considered their counsellor, she is proud to say she is their friend, their confidante, someone who has been trained in how to deal with these situations and can therefore help and guide.
Now digging deeper into her passions, Nadia explains how she has been a part of the Canadian Blood Services for the past four years and hopes to continue this outside the secondary school barriers. Before she learned about the blood services and all the volunteering she could do with them, she was as she lightly puts it “just partying away and not volunteering”. However, she has allowed it to impact her life so much so that when she begins her university career at the University of British Columbia in the fall, she also hopes to expand her knowledge and experience in the volunteering sector and join more clubs and organizations. She explains how she would like to take her passion for volunteering, especially with the blood services “global and outside of the Canadian doors” as she believes it is truly “meaningful to be globally aware”. She intends to make the most of her business school experience at UBC and go on exchanges and travel abroad so as to further her education, experience, and global knowledge; true assets for a business student and a global minded volunteer.
Nadia decided what better way to conclude our chat than to leave some advice for all youth out there! She reminds each one of us that school and life are not all about the marks (not that you should not focus on those, too), but in the end it is the experiences! Whether they are good or bad experiences, “it is a way to strengthen and grow”.
Nadia Niky should be considered a true inspiration to all displaying the perfect balance! From being able to host teen summits, to spending Fridays being a mentor, and weekends hanging out with friends, she is the ideal example of someone who has been able to maintain a ‘party schedule’ alongside a ‘volunteering schedule’.
Why not do something good for the community and enjoy it, all the while still maintaining a healthy out of school, out of work social life?