Introducing Julia-Anne Cameron, Youth Program Coordinator

The following is a guest blog post written and researched by one of Volunteer Victoria’s volunteer writers, Kate Lautens. Kate is ourVolunteer Victoria Media Copy Writer, twitter volunteer extraordinaire and occasional blogger. Kate interviewed Julia-Anne Cameron, Volunteer Victoria’s newest team member and Youth Program Coordinator. We welcome Julia-Anne, her boundless energy and commitment to youth and volunteerism to the Volunteer Victoria team.  Please Enjoy! !

Julia-Anne Cameron’s greatest passions are youth and volunteering, so she could not pass up the chance to apply for the role of Youth Program Coordinator at Volunteer Victoria – and Volunteer Victoria is pleased to say that she was the perfect fit! When Julia-Anne found out she had been selected for the position, she hadn’t even had her official convocation for her undergraduate degree from the University of Victoria. “Seeing a job posting that combined [youth and volunteering], especially one at such an amazing agency like Volunteer Victoria, was a ‘must apply’ in my books,” Julia-Anne says. Now, with her bachelor’s degree in Child and Youth Care in hand, Julia-Anne is ready to take on new challenges with Volunteer Victoria.

She credits her experience at UVic for giving her confidence to take on new experiences. “The School of Child and Youth Care is a phenomenal program that has left me feeling extremely grounded in my practice, at the same time as being very excited to challenge myself,” she says. Her program included one practicum with Big Brothers Big Sister Victoria, as well as a second as a Youth and Family Counselor at a local middle school through the Fairfield Gonzales Community Association. Julia-Anne calls the experiences life changing: “the two experiences…have given me many tools and strategies, including a strong foundation for youth engagement practices through meaningful relationships,” she says.

“I firmly believe in youth, and I firmly believe in volunteering,” Julia-Anne says. In her new position with Volunteer Victoria (which Leanna Hill held until May 2012 when she moved on to become Manager of Training and Outreach), Julia-Anne will be right at home. “I am most excited about getting to know and work with the youth in our community, as well as the many dedicated Member Agencies,” she says. An Oak Bay Secondary Grad, Julia-Anne spent a lot of time working at Recreation Oak Bay as a Team Lead lifeguard and instructor. Although she was born in Vancouver, Julia-Anne moved to Victoria when she was three years old. “I have always thought of this beautiful city as home!”

Julia-Anne understands the importance of the Youth Program in Greater Victoria. “The biggest impact we have on the community is offering youth a safe space for positive engagement,” she says. With over 300 member agencies to choose from, there’s a great opportunity out there for everyone. “We truly work to find a meaningful volunteer position for each youth who comes to see us.”

Julia-Anne’s position is not without its challenges, which she readily acknowledges. “The biggest challenge is going to be the fall,” she says. I have heard it is going to be extremely busy, but I know I can do it with this amazing team at Volunteer Victoria behind me!” Julia-Anne says she’s using the summer months to prepare and organize as much as she can. “Even if it is busy, the fall months will run like a well oiled machine,” she says.

Despite the challenges that may lie ahead, Julia-Anne is looking forward to whatever her role brings. “I love to work with young people because of the energy, the ideas, and the endless possibilities they all have,” she says. “Every person is unique, and being able to facilitate their exploration of individual skills, goals, passions, and interests is something I really enjoy doing.”

The Youth Volunteer Connections Program serves young people 15-29 years old, and supports them in their search for meaningful volunteer positions in Greater Victoria. The YVCP team provides support at any step of a youth volunteer’s journey – from finding a position, to navigating challenges, to celebrating successes. Check out www.volunteervictoria.bc.ca/youth for more information or to set up an appointment to meet with Julia-Anne Cameron or Ebony Logins.

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