University can be rough. Classes are overwhelming and the stress makes you feel nostalgic for the good old days where the hardest math you learned was fractions. For Sweekruti, volunteering to run an after-school program helps bring her back to simpler times.
“Kids see me as one of them so I get along with them.”
A second-year business management student, she found Homes First while volunteering at Ryerson’s Volunteer Fair last October, where she met our Volunteer Coordinator. About a month later, she began leading the after-school program.
Every Thursday she meets the kids living at Meegwetch Place with snacks and a new activity. Activities are usually chosen by the kids themselves, and range from making
slime to painting to just playing cards and hanging out (homework is usually forgotten about).
Even though she’s only been there a few weeks, Sweekruti has already built great relationships with the staff and most importantly, the kids who attend. One week, she was showing the kids henna designs on their hands when one of the girls wrote ‘I love you’ on her wrist. Sweekruti couldn’t help but smile at it in the days after, and even after it was faded, she still felt the joy those three words brought. Some days she’ll go home with a headache but she knows that the bond she’s made with the kids is well worth it.
“You’re part of this part of their life and maybe they’ll remember you when they’re older,” she says. “I feel like I would be missing out if I wasn’t [volunteering].”