Healthy Communities Y Stories YMCA Volunteers

What volunteering has brought to my life

Portrait of a young woman smiling while standing against a multicoloured brick wall

By Carla Acosta

I started volunteering with the YMCA of Greater Toronto in 2010, and I have been hooked ever since! Volunteering offered me a chance to explore new interests, learn about new initiatives, while also making new friends and long lasting connections. As a member of the YMCA Youth Advisory Committee for the Board of Directors, I have learned the importance of accessible community programs and services for youth, newcomers, and other marginalized people.

My involvement with the Board has exposed me to new career paths that I would have not otherwise considered. Over two years ago, at a Board retreat, I had learned about the importance of social infrastructure in communities of need and found the discussions about location and beneficiaries fascinating. This newfound interest led me to pursue a Master’s in Urban Planning at Ryerson University. This has allowed me to continue to nurture my passion for being a part of building strong, vibrant, and healthy communities.

Volunteering with the Y has given me an opportunity to feel connected to my local, national, and global community, and be part of a movement that strives to build healthy and strong communities. It has brought to my life new opportunities for exploration, lifelong friendships, and an overall sense of being a part of a mission that is much larger than myself. I hope to continue to find new and exciting opportunities to engage with the YMCA and look forward to work with the YMCA in building strong and healthy communities.