5 min read
28 September 2021

September's Volunteer of the Month mentors professionals who are new to Canada

Each month, we highlight one of our dedicated volunteers, who is helping us to make a difference in the community. Meet our September 2021 Volunteer of the Month!

WoodGreen’s Community Connection Newcomer Mentorship Program caught Derek Merdzik’s interest when he heard about it during a work event. So much so that later that day he signed up to volunteer with the program as a mentor.

“When my family immigrated to Canada, I saw the challenges my parents faced as professionals arriving in a new country,” said Derek, who is an employee at CIBC. “I am glad I can help make the transition easier for others [as a mentor].”

WoodGreen Community Connection Newcomer Mentorship Program Volunteer Mentor Derek MerdzikWoodGreen Community Connection Newcomer Mentorship Program Volunteer Mentor Derek Merdzik

 

The Community Connection Newcomer Mentorship Program accelerates the integration of newly-arrived professionals into the Canadian workforce and helps them acclimatize into Canadian society. As a volunteer mentor, Derek acts as a coach by listening, motivating, and assisting internationally-trained professionals in identifying job opportunities and building networks.

Volunteering as a mentor has given Derek the opportunity to improve his mentorship skills. He is proud of the fact that all of the mentees he has worked with to date have been able to find relevant jobs. He gets immense satisfaction when one of his mentees lands their first job, and all of their hard work comes to fruition.

Even more, he has seen some of his mentees pay it forward. “The mentees I’ve helped, in turn, help others,” he said.

Thank you so much Derek for your dedication and volunteering with WoodGreen!

WANT TO MAKE A DIFFERENCE IN YOUR COMMUNITY? VISIT OUR WEBSITE TO SEE OUR LATEST VOLUNTEER OPENINGS AND FIND OUT HOW YOU CAN APPLY.

More Blogs

How the First Step to Home program gave this client a second chance at life

Marcus has been a WoodGreen First Step to Home client since 2017, following years of homelessness. Soon, he's moving into his own apartment.

Read

Humanizing Toronto’s social issues with portraits of some of the city’s most vulnerable

The Human-Kind-ness Campaign, in partnership with Canadian photographer Leah den Bok, aims to highlight six of the city’s most staggering social issues while humanizing those who are most affected by them.

Read

Housing Innovation Starts With Putting People First

WoodGreen is working with its partners to create more affordable housing in Toronto. Read one of our success stories!

Read

A new partnership is bringing up to 400 new affordable homes to Toronto

Today (November 22) is National Housing Day. Which makes it the perfect day to share an exciting housing announcement with all of you.

Read

From Our Experts: Five tips to help you with your next job search

Are you ready for a new job? Our Employment Services team has five tips to help you with your next job search — including a bonus tip!

Read