Each month, we highlight one of our dedicated volunteers who helps us to make a difference in the community. Meet our May 2022 Volunteers of the Month!
Deniz Toker started volunteering at WoodGreen’s Community Connections English Conversation Circle in 2021. He joined the program because it provides much-needed services to newcomers to better prepare them for their social and professional lives in Canada.
“As a recent immigrant myself, I thought I could easily empathize and work with newcomers who want to improve their English language skills,” says Toker.
Through his volunteer role, he gets to connect with people from all walks of life and is always learning something new about other cultures. Sharing his lived experiences and skills with others is the main motivation behind his volunteer work.
“By volunteering at WoodGreen, I feel more purposeful and connected to a bigger family consisting of dedicated and multicultural volunteers,” he said.
Sami Massouh is a youth volunteer with WoodGreen’s Syrian Support Program. A newcomer himself, Massouh says he was able to easily integrate socially and academically into Canadian life with relative ease because he went to an English-speaking international school. He says that when he heard about WoodGreen, he knew he finally found an opportunity to help other newcomers by using both his English and Arabic skills.
For Massouh, volunteering at WoodGreen helped him to significantly develop his public speaking and interpersonal skills, which has helped him improve his confidence and performance in school.
"I hope that my tutoring and presentations have educated and entertained many newcomer children and have made many parents’ jobs easier,” he said. “I am finding new and meaningful ways to contribute to WoodGreen’s vision.”