I began volunteering  in 2007 when Doris and Robin from Engineers Without Borders gave a Lunch & Learn at my company, Fransen Engineering.  I had just finished around 10 years of being a major workaholic, capped off with an MBA and CMA that I completed while working fulltime, and I was seeking balance in my life.  I had always had an interest in international development and I found an amazing fit with EWB.

Between 2007 and mid 2010, I took the lead in the EWB Vancouver Professional Chapter Lunch & Learn program and have witnessed the progression of other new members.  Over the past year, I have had the privilege of also helping to launch a group called Fair Trade Vancouver, a group of amazing people who have already achieved a lot  – and it is just getting going!

I took a leave of absence from Fansen (the consulting firm I was working for at the time) to volunteer as a Professional Fellow in Ghana for the second half of 2010 with our Rural Agriculture team.  That’s when I started this blog and I averaged around two posts per week for the entire five month experience plus I sent daily emails to my sponsors, which are linked in the sidebar of this blog.

I settled back into work at Fransen in Vancouver for the first half of 2011, but eventually decided to make the big leap to join EWB’s National Office in Toronto.  It was a big step, as it meant moving away from my amazing friends and family in Vancouver plus leaving a good company (Fransen) and 14 years of experience in that sector.  However, I haven’t regretted the decision for a moment.

My original thought a few years ago was that it was “time to start giving back.”  Looking back over the last few years, however, it is clear to me that I have gained much more than I have managed to give through new friendships and opportunities for personal growth.

If you are interested in getting involved, I strongly encourage you to contact either EWB or Fair Trade Vancouver and dive right in – I guarantee that you won’t regret it!


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