My name is Josh, I am a finance major at the University of Alberta and I spent my summer working at an organization called KidSport Edmonton. It started out as just another job to do, something that was interesting and unlike anything I had done before, but not something that I was particularly engaged in doing. Up until my first day.
Don’t get me wrong, I understood the cause and the enormous benefits playing sports gives to children, but I didn’t understand the scale at which KidSport operates. The time and energy needed to not only help the kids, but to raise money to keep the whole enterprise working. You need to be inspired to do quality work at a non-profit. Its not a glamorous job, there is mounting pressure to succeed and most of the time you are working understaffed. It takes dedication, inspiration, and a little bit of luck from the leaders of such organizations, and that’s what I found at KidSport. My coworkers for the few months I was there put in work. They went above and beyond their job description to help each other and benefit the whole rather than themselves. It was an experience that humbled me. It was also a lesson in leadership that showed how you can maintain an easy going, healthy workplace, but still produce great results. I credit a lot of what I learned to the executive director, Dayna Hyman.
Due to the nature of the organization I was working at, I had my hand in a lot of diverse yet integral projects. I was able to handle recruiting, organizing and using a team of ambassadors, set up and plan events, process applications from families requesting help, take over the organizations social media outlets, look into the financials, and help market different events. But my favorite project, and the one I was given free reign over from start to finish, was to plan and organize a fundraising event with the ambassador team at KidSport, and with local professional athletes. This project is still under wraps and wont release until August, but it was a great opportunity to use the skills I learned throughout the year at PLLC. I was able to assemble the parts and lead the teams I had to produce what I feel will be a successful project for KidSport Edmonton.
In August, if you want to support a great organization committed to helping underprivileged kids play sports, look up KidSport and show your love! I had a great stretch and learned a lot about leadership that I hope will transfer over into my second year at PLLC.