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Tell us about yourself

I was born and raised in Regina, Saskatchewan. I eventually moved to Saskatoon where I completed an undergraduate degree in physiology and pharmacology. I am currently a student at UBC’s Vancouver Fraser Medical Program with an interest in pediatrics and child development. In my spare time, I enjoy going on runs, spending time with friends, and trying new restaurants.

How did you become involved in the Reading Bear Society?

I have always been involved in various child education organizations in Saskatchewan and knew I wanted to continue giving back to the children and families in Vancouver after moving here in August. When I heard about the RBS team and all of the incredible things they do around the community, I knew right away that I wanted to be a part of it. I was most interested in the Canuck Place Children’s Hospice visits because of how unique and personal the experiences would be with the children and families. My first visit was so positive that I joined the Canuck Place volunteer team shortly after. I now have the pleasure of representing the RBS as the Canuck Place Chair of Visits.

What is your current role with the RBS?

After starting as a volunteer with the RBS, I am very excited to continue as the Canuck Place Chair of Visits. In this role, I coordinate when we make visits, make sure everyone has a safe and fun time, and make sure every child gets an RBS care package suitable for their interests.
On our visits, we read with all of the children and their families as a group or go to individual rooms and read one on one if it is more suitable. It is certainly a fun time when we dress up in our bear costumes and the kids can choose from our huge selection of teddy bears to read with! As I am a peer volunteer at Canuck Place and the chair of visits with RB, I am able to get to know the kids well, maintain strong communication with the staff and try to understand how we can improve our visits.

What is your best memory of RBS?

My best memory of the RBS was on my first visit to Canuck Place. I was taken aback by how grand the building was, being literally a mansion. Before we saw any of the children, the staff and volunteers greeted us so warmly and made sure we had everything we needed. I was quite nervous going in but felt comfortable right away because of the amazing Canuck Place team. We spent most of that visit reading one on one with a child in their room. The smiles we were able to bring out were very impactful on me. Interactions like these are what continue to motivate me to pursue this career.

Why do you support the RBS?

The RBS team is extremely passionate about an extremely important cause, and I want to contribute whatever I can to support it. Being able to bring a smile to a child and their family’s faces are what it is all about. The entire team puts in so much time and effort, that together, we really are making a positive and lasting difference in the lives of many.