Inquisitive, thoughtful, enthusiastic and committed, SVP Teens meet monthly (or more) throughout the school year to learn about community issues, raise money and give grants to local charities. While we love waxing brilliance about the group, you might not know what they actually do. What is like to be in SVP Teens?
Quinn Ruby, a member of SVP Teens for the past three years, shares her experience.
Being a member of the SVP Teens group is an experience that’s difficult to put into words. In my opinion, it’s hard to describe because there’s really nothing else in our community that’s quite like it. I’ve been lucky enough to be a part of this group for three years now and the growth I’ve seen over those three years is indescribable. You could say that this past year was a breakthrough year for us. We really came together and accomplished what we set out to accomplish all the way back in September.
The year started off with our first meeting of many to come at the Accelerator Centre. We talked briefly about what we wanted our focus to be and generally where we wanted the money to go at the end of the year. Although many of us knew each other from previous years, we had a significant amount of new members so this first meeting was a great opportunity for us to get to know each other.
In October the majority of us attended the 8×10 event at Knox Presbyterian Church. Eight speakers spoke for ten minutes each about their life stories or something that they were truly passionate about. We sold raffle tickets to the guests to raise money before and after the event and during the intermission. I really believe that the inspiring stories of the speakers pushed us to narrow down our focus and even gave us some new ideas. Ultimately it was a great event that showcased the importance of community and of being generous, things that directly relate to SVP Teens and SVP as a whole.
In the month of November we made sub-committees such as fundraising, volunteering/events, and social media. In previous years, we never really had the opportunity to be that organized due to the smaller number of members. We also went over our financial situation and learned that we had more than $1,500 left over from last year and that we had made almost $700 at the 8×10 Event, leaving us with around $2,370 in total.
With our focus in mind at the beginning of the year, we sent out a Call for Applications package and waited to hear from organizations that wanted our grant. After they came in, we got into groups and reviewed each one, making notes on the key points. We then presented our organizations, discussed them as a group, and finally narrowed it down to two; KidSport and Life Change Adventures.
Life Change Adventures are summer camps in the Sunnydale community in Waterloo. They impact over 100 children and aim to work on drug prevention and creating a healthy environment for the children. Volunteer opportunities were available at the 2 camps (5 Days of Fun and Africa Camp), such as pick-up sports with the kids. KidSport is an organization that helps children from low-income families participate in sports-related activities in the community. It impacts 250 kids every year by letting them be involved in these activities. It is completely volunteer-run so there were plenty of opportunities for us.
After choosing these two organizations, we were lucky enough to have representatives from each one come and speak to us. We learned so much more about the organizations and how much good they do for the community which ultimately made our final decision even harder. In the end, we decided to go with KidSport. This decision was based mostly on the fact that it impacts more children. Reminiscing about how much sports affected our own lives definitely added to this choice. During an open house for teens interested in next year’s group, we gave the KidSport representatives a giant check for $4000.
A great way to end the year off was with our annual carwash at the Sandvine parking lot. Although the weather wasn’t the greatest, we made almost $300 and still had a lot of fun washing cars and being together for one last event. I consider myself very fortunate to have found this group and I know everyone else involved does as well. We really and truly could not have done it without the help of Lori Morin and Rose Greensides. They brought us treats and snacks to make meetings fun but also guided us when we got off track. The SVP Teens group is a life changing experience and I would genuinely recommend it to anyone looking to get more involved in our community.
Interested in SVP Teens and want to get involved? Click here to learn more!