September’s Volunteer of the Month mentors professionals who are new to Canada
Each month, we highlight one of our dedicated volunteers, who is helping us to make a difference in the community. Meet our September 2021 Volunteer of the Month!
WoodGreen’s Community Connection Newcomer Mentorship Program caught Derek Merdzik’s interest when he heard about it during a work event. So much so that later that day he signed up to volunteer with the program as a mentor.
“When my family immigrated to Canada, I saw the challenges my parents faced as professionals arriving in a new country,” said Derek, who is an employee at CIBC. “I am glad I can help make the transition easier for others [as a mentor].”
The Community Connection Newcomer Mentorship Program accelerates the integration of newly-arrived professionals into the Canadian workforce and helps them acclimatize into Canadian society. As a volunteer mentor, Derek acts as a coach by listening, motivating, and assisting internationally-trained professionals in identifying job opportunities and building networks.
Volunteering as a mentor has given Derek the opportunity to improve his mentorship skills. He is proud of the fact that all of the mentees he has worked with to date have been able to find relevant jobs. He gets immense satisfaction when one of his mentees lands their first job, and all of their hard work comes to fruition.
Even more, he has seen some of his mentees pay it forward. “The mentees I’ve helped, in turn, help others,” he said.
Thank you so much Derek for your dedication and volunteering with WoodGreen!