Hi, my name is Alana Loveys. Throughout my life I have been involved in many activities that allowed me to develop leadership qualities. Along the way, these qualities have helped me become involved in many leadership and volunteering opportunities. Growing up I was a member of Girl Guides. Besides becoming involved with my community and volunteering with various events, Girl Guides had helped me obtain many new friendships and gave me the chance to discover new interests. Later, I joined the Poseidon Swim Club. With many years of swimming experience behind me and after completing my Bronze Medallion, AWSI and WSI courses, I applied for a job as a swimming instructor. The experience of working at the pool has helped me learn how to communicate with parents and children and has also helped me learn how to get along with co-workers and respect authority. Having a job along with balancing my many extra curricular activities has also helped me learn how to manage my time properly. My love for swimming and teaching gave me the opportunity to become involved as a volunteer coach for Special Olympics. Every Wednesday night for an hour I would help children and adults with special needs learn how to swim. This was such an amazing experience. I learned how important it is to have respect for others. It was touching to see that the Special Olympics athletes had their own special qualities and all they asked was to be treated equally. It is an amazing feeling to know that you have contributed to making a positive difference in someone’s life.
Recently we had a presentation at our school about volunteering as a part of the Career Development course. The speaker mentioned how people do not volunteer for money but they still end up getting paid. At first this confused me. As I thought a little harder, I soon realized exactly what the speaker meant. The good feeling that you get from volunteering and the knowledge that you made a difference is your reward… not money. Being able to relate to this with my experience of Special Olympics, I discovered that it was then that I became inspired and interested in volunteering. Along with swimming and Special Olympics, I volunteered at many swimming events, banquets and even swim meets. My interest and involvement in cross country running resulted in my participation in a 10 kilometre race to raise money for the Terry Fox foundation for the past three years. Through my involvement with dance at Danceworx studios, and also cheerleading, I also get to perform at several important community events such as the Relay for Life and Annual Fashion show to raise money for the Trinity Conception Health foundation.
For as long as I can remember, I have attended the Burry Heights Church Camp every summer. My love for camp, the “magic” and the high energy that it brought to me each year kept me going back for more. It was there that I gained confidence, became less shy and could be myself. This past summer I was finally old enough to be a volunteer councillor at camp for a week. The feeling that counselling brought to me was even more positive than the feeling that I experienced as a camper. It gave me butterflies to see the kids open up and bond with me. It was such a great feeling to know that I was helping bring the magic of camp that I once felt into the lives of many other children. The way the kids looked up to you as their role model, thanked you for the fun that they had, and cried on your shoulder before they left that week saying how much they’ll miss you was enough to make me feel that good feeling of volunteering yet again. I love the smiles the kids bring to their face and mine as I see them again outside of camp, and the way that they run to you to give you a hug and say how they wish you could council them again. These opportunities, along with many others have also helped me become more and more involved with leadership.
Besides the many sport teams that I have been a part of throughout the school years that have helped me learn to work as a team, school has offered me a variety of educational activities that permitted me to get even more involved with leadership and volunteering. At school, ever since Jr. High, I have been a member of the student council in many positions such as Class Representative, Vice President and President. Being involved in student council opened me up to many new possibilities to volunteer and gain leadership skills. I discovered out how much I loved public speaking, not only in front of the school for many events, but in speak off competitions in French and English too. I became interested in making school more fun for everyone by volunteering to organize many school events and activities, such as dances, and themed weeks. A Provincial Student Leadership Conference and even a Canadian School Leadership Conference were yet other positive outcomes of being involved with Student Council. These conferences have helped me develop even more leadership skills by making many new friendships and learning from other leaders. The conferences brought an experience of a life time that I was grateful to be able to take part in. Events such as choir gave me that chance to participate in a student music exchange to
where we were able
to visit many schools outside of Ontario and show them our
type of music by singing Newfoundland folk songs. We
also had to chance to hear other choirs and bands perform their music to us.
Drama and Improv at school also helped me develop leadership skills. I got the
chance to act in many Christmas concerts, plays and take part in the Drama
Festival where I attended many workshops that were both helpful and fun. How
can I forget the MOST AMAZING opportunity that school has given me? School gave
me the chance to apply for HORIZONS where I became a Horizons student and was
permitted to take part in the Leadership Development Weekend where I got to
meet many new people across the island that had similar interests as me. The
many enjoyable activities that took place that weekend helped my pre-existing
leadership skills to grow. It was an amazing experience which had a huge impact
upon my life in such a short amount of time. Newfoundland
In the future I am still not one hundred percent sure which career path I will take. However, I have already learned that the best things in life are worth working for and I will put one hundred percent into whichever career path I choose. I am also sure that I will continue to seek opportunities that involve leadership and volunteering. I value the difference that these two elements have made in my life thus far and I look forward to future opportunities to share my enthusiasm with others.