Spotlight: Winter Welcome Week Volunteers

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Aiju Chau
Communications Assistant
Wed, 01/29/2020 - 11:45

We're throwing it back to one month ago today, to shine the spotlight on two of our "killer" Welcome Week volunteers. Can you believe it's been a month already!? As is tradition, we kicked it off with a breakfast for champions (our Warriors, of course) and wrapped it up with Cider and Sweets. Among the craze that is a week of events, Kierra Young, WUSA's Special Events Coordinator, spoke highly of two volunteers in particular. While we of course appreciate all our volunteers, Jessica Ann Pihokker and Bayan Ismail stoood out among the pack. 

Volunteering for events like this is a great opportunity to gain experience, meet new people and make new friends. Working alongside others who are passionate about welcoming students is something we know our volunteers look forward to each term. Making a student feel welcome can go a long way to starting their term off right. 

Jessica has been volunteering for WUSA since her 2A term and has enjoyed working alongside her good friend Bayan and our Special Events Coordinator, Kierra. In her own words, she shares, "I have been volunteering for WUSA's Welcome Week since my 2A term and it's always been something I've looked forward to, in addition to a fresh term. Winter Welcome Week 2020 was all the hype and more." Among the 'hype' was mentalist Wayne Hoffman's 'Believe it or Not,' where he brought a student on stage and correctly guessed the randon word they chose from a novel. That's not all. He then took an empty, crushed Coke can and with a few swirls of his finger, restored it to its original form, somehow filled it (it was closed) and poured a drink for a student! MIND. BLOWN. These are only a few of the mind-blowing mental manipulations this man had up his sleeve. It was crazy!

Although she wasn't able to carry as many Welcome Week shifts this term, Jessica describes every shift she did have as, "worthwhile." She shared with me that she loves meeting new people and giving back to the students who work so hard on campus each term. 'Cider and Sweets' was her favourite event, because it was "full of chaos, excitement and laughter," she remembers fondly. She goes on, "Between losing a helium balloon to the ceiling of the SLC, to working with my two favourite people, it was all a blast!" With such high reviews and a great experience, it's no surprise Jessica plans to return. She says she looks forward to volunteering at the next Welcome Week and "meeting you all there!" 

This was Bayan’s first experience volunteering for WUSA's Welcome Week but she says it will definitely not be her last. Of course a highlight for her too was working alongside her bestie, Jess. They tackled Warriors on Ice and Cider and Sweets together and were equally thrilled to be working together. 

Bayan told me, "it was an amazing opportunity to give back to the Waterloo students, and to see that smile when the students found out we got a Beavertails truck." The Beavertails truck was a definite highlight and one that attracted a record number of attendees! Reflecting on her time, she shared a special moment she had while volunteering for Warriors on Ice, that made her feel inspired and amazed. "One of the best interactions I had was when one student forgot to pre-register for the event. Unfortunately we had to tell her there were no available skates to rent." That didn't stop this student; she was determined. Upon hearing there were no rentals available, she went out and bought her OWN! All so she could participate in the event with her friends and not miss out. Bayan was blown away by the commitment. She recalled, "to see that level of commitment and eagerness from this student was really inspiring." Overall she said, she had a ton of fun meeting new people, and looks forward to volunteering for the next Welcome Week.

Thank you again to all our Welcome Week volunteers! Putting on events throughout the entire week, takes an entire team. We're thankful to each and every one of you for all you contributed. Thanks also to Jessica and Bayan! It was great to hear some of the highlights of the week through your experiences. 

Volunteering for Welcome Week is a great way to get involved and learn more about your WUSA events. The entire week is geared toward welcoming students back with memorable moments and fun with friends. Interested in volunteering? Check out our get involved page to find out everything you  need to know.