By Megan, Team Leader, Student Volunteer Army, Victoria University

This post is part of our series for Youth Week 2022

My name is Megan and I am part of the Victoria Student Volunteer Army. We are a club at Te Herenga Waka that facilitates and promotes student volunteering. Our club has an executive team of 10 students who are super passionate about volunteering and work to build connections to provide volunteering opportunities and events to make student volunteering accessible and fun.

Over the past two years, we have worked to build relationships with Free Store, Everybody Eats, Waikanae Estuary Care Group, UpStream, Kelburn Conservation Group, and the New Zealand Remembrance Army to make it easy for students to connect with these organisations so that they can get as much out of volunteering as we do!

I have gained so much out of my volunteering experiences. Not only have I formed amazing friendships with like minded students through the club, I have felt a greater connection to the wider Wellington community and learnt a lot about myself through volunteering with people I wouldn’t usually meet in my day to day university life.

Moving to a new city for university can be challenging because you leave the connections you had back home, but volunteering and connecting with community organisations has helped me form a sense of community and belonging.

We can pretend that volunteering is entirely altruistic and selfless, but I know that I gain so much from my experiences volunteering in how I have grown as a person and learnt and my place in the world.