5 min read
28 September 2021

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

Jennifer Mayville, Senior Manager, Communications

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

When You Find the One - Remembering the Legalization of Same-Sex Marriage in Ontario

“When You Find the One” is a documentary honouring the 20th anniversary of the legalization of same-sex marriage in Ontario. Watch it for free on WoodGreen's YouTube channel now.

Read

World Refugee Day

To celebrate World Refugee Day, we deep dive in the programs WoodGreen offers newcomers and the Refugee's that help us make it all possible.

Read

Ask Our Experts: How to write a resume that stands out

We asked our Employment Services team for their advice to help you create a resume that stands out, so you can land your dream job. Here are their top tips!

Read

What You Get When You Give Back: 10 Reasons Volunteering is Good for You

Volunteering is not only about doing good, it turns out that giving back is also good for you. Our experts explain the surprising benefits.

Read

Volunteering keeps Nick in love with Toronto. Here's why

Nick wanted a way to help newcomers to Canada make their way in Toronto. He began volunteering with WoodGreen. Fifteen years later, the experience has changed the way he sees the city he calls home.

Read