NPower Canada is celebrating National Volunteer Week from April 16 – 22, 2023. This year’s theme, “Volunteering Weaves Us Together”, is a perfect opportunity for NPower Canada to recognize our partners and advocates who make what we do possible.
NPower Canada’s volunteers contribute to the professional development of our participants through corporate engagement events, highlighted in our year-in-review video, and our mentorship program. In both initiatives, industry experts volunteer their time and expertise to host impactful events that provide participants with career advice and networking opportunities.
“I love that NPower Canada is democratizing access to careers in technology,” said Graham McKendry, Microsoft, who has been a volunteer since 2021. “This not only has an awesome impact on each individual that participates in NPower Canada’s programs, but also helps tackle our country’s skills gap and propel Canada towards being a digital leader.”
What pushed Jean Eudson Desrosier, Accenture, to volunteer with NPower Canada was his belief in our mission and a desire to give back. When asked what motivates him to volunteer with NPower Canada, Jean Eudson said, “Their mission, their values, and vision to work towards a diverse tech workforce where people of any culture, ethnicity, gender, or socio-economic background can succeed in the IT field.”
What we do at NPower Canada wouldn’t be possible without our dedicated volunteers, who contribute to a strong, holistic program model which includes professional development.
“Volunteering offers a chance to give back to those in need, to donate your time, skills, and resources to help build stronger, more connected communities,” said Alex Okun, Microsoft, who participates in our Women+ Mentorship Program.
Since April 2022, we have successfully delivered over 30 engagement events thanks to our wonderful corporate volunteers, which were attended by over 2,500 participants. Some of the topics explored were interview skills, cybersecurity, salary negotiations, Python, augmented reality, financial literacy, and more.
We were also thrilled to host three in-person corporate engagement events for our Ontario and Nova Scotia participants, our first in-person participant events since 2020. In Ontario, participants attended a Cloud Simulation Activity at Deloitte as well as a Networking Event at Okta. In Nova Scotia, our participants enjoyed a Career Panel and Networking Event at Manulife, which included their CEO and President. Our participants thoroughly enjoyed getting to meet one another and industry experts in-person, and learn valuable tips for advancing their careers, and we look forward to hosting more in-person events in 2023.
NPower Canada also offers a 1:1 mentorship program, where participants are paired with volunteers from some of our partners. Mentors engage with their mentees weekly, sharing their expertise to help participants reach their goals and help them to practice their interview and networking skills.
This year, we were thrilled to have more volunteers than ever sign up to be mentors. With more than 200 volunteers from 15 companies, we had over five times the amount of mentors as the previous year. Here’s what some of our mentors had to say about the mentorship program:
“I knew immediately that I wanted to be a part of the [mentorship program],” said Berna Hamaty, RBC. As an immigrant herself, Berna has volunteered her time as a mentor to newcomer participants since 2022. “I wanted to help newcomers and job-seekers, to put at their disposal my experience and knowledge to coach them and prepare them for the job hunting journey.”
“As a volunteer mentor, I had the opportunity to use my leadership skills to make a positive impact on participants. By providing guidance and encouragement, I helped someone to overcome challenges and achieve their goals. It was rewarding to see them grow and thrive with my support, and to know that I had made a difference in their lives,” shared Kristen Bellini, Google Canada.
We want to thank all of our volunteers for sharing their time and knowledge, which makes such an impact on our participants’ professional development.