More than an organization!
I first joined Sun Youth in the summer of 2014. I was very excited, as it was my first job. I was working full time in the food bank of the organization, from the end of June until mid-August. This job opportunity was given to me by Valorisation Jeunesse, a project that allows young dynamic people aged 16 to 18, especially those that are visible minorities, to have rewarding professional work experiences.
Sun Youth first joined the program in 2009, and since then has been hiring about 5 students from Valorisation Jeunesse each summer. At the food bank, I packed food and prepared custom bags for the clients. I came in contact with people of different backgrounds: my experience encouraged me to open up. Plus, it was my first time working with colleagues who have various intellectual handicaps and it has made me more aware and sensitive to those people’s conditions. After my first experience here, I got a true sense of what Sun Youth is all about: kind-hearted people working towards helping the community.
In the fall of 2014, as I was starting my DEC in Languages, I thought of how great it would be to work at Sun Youth again. After a short period of probation, I was welcomed in the Communications team. Working for a charity organization makes me conscious of things I initially took for granted. I now think twice before I purchase something and am truly grateful for what I have, no matter how small it is. This year, celebrated my 5th summer at Sun Youth.
Here, I feel valued. I am in a friendly environment where my work is recognized. Being of an intellectual nature, I feel lucky to have a job that isn’t mechanical or stressful, like many other student jobs. I write, translate and review texts, scan and file documents, update the website, etc. The tasks vary from a day to another, which makes the work more stimulating. Even though my contracts are seasonal, I get fully immersed in Sun Youth’s activities. For example, this summer, I gave information about the organization at our booth at the MURAL festival. I took photos of the golfers at our annual Mordy Gordon Golf Tournament (this year marked its 15th anniversary). The following week was our annual new clothing giveaway…
Though this was initially unplanned, because we never know where life will take us, I now own two DECs (Languages at Cégep du Vieux Montréal in 2016 and Theatre at Cégep Marie-Victorin in 2018). This fall, I will begin my formation at St-Hyacinthe’s professional theatre school. Summer flew by so fast. I surely will be back next year!
Louiza Guira has been part of the Sun Youth family for now 4 years . Photo: Joseph Munro