Rachel was born and raised in Montreal, Quebec, home of poutine, the Montreal Canadiens, and smoked meat. She has had a passion for humanitarian work since grade 8, when she first realized that she wanted to make a difference in the lives of people who live in difficult circumstances.
My mother was the one who inspired me towards this field, with an awareness and compassion that she passed on to her children. I have since focused my education on humanitarian work, and I plan to do the same in my career. In high school, I was a part of my Social Justice Committee and fundraised for Free the Children. I went on to a program called North South at Dawson College, which was my first real experience overseas in Nicaragua for 5 weeks, where I participated in two work projects and lived with two local families. I learned a lot about myself on this trip, and forged some lifelong friendships along the way.
Afterwards I went on to receive my bachelor’s degree in International Development Studies at McGill University. After my graduation I was looking for a way to get involved, and found Youth Challenge International. This past March I participated in a 4-week volunteer program in Ghana with YCI focusing on gender empowerment and health among Ghanaian female youth. I was impressed with YCI’s organization, efficiency, and drive, so much so that when I got home I applied to one of YCI’s open internships in Toronto! Here I am now, YCI’s Volunteer Program Assistant for the next 4 months!
I’ll be processing volunteer applications, assisting in the interview and selection processes, and helping each volunteer prepare for their trip. This includes extensive fundraising support, preparing orientation guides, and updating important information on the volunteers’ online preparation pages.
YCI really helped me forge my personal and professional goals and I’m hoping that over the next few months I’ll help others do the same. I’m so excited to be a part of the team!