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UTSC student builds community – and a legacy – as a Pan Am volunteer

Driven by passion for community service, Nasma Ahmed is volunteering for the 2015 Pan Am Parapan Am Games Community Engagement Council.

For Nasma Ahmed, becoming a volunteer for the 2015 Pan Am and Parapan Am Games was an obvious decision.

Driven by her passion for community service and her work with youth, Ahmed started volunteering for the Toronto 2015 games two years ago, when she was a Grade 11 student at Woburn Collegiate Institute in East Scarborough. Today, the second-year Public Policy and English student at UTSC currently sits on the games’ Community Engagement Council and serves as the Chair of the Community Engagement Working Group.

“I have never been a part of such a large scale event before and I have learned and continue to learn from the individuals at the Pan Am and Parapan Am Games,” she says. Ahmed says she puts in between 5-10 hours a month on average as a volunteer.

In all, organizers expect they’ll need 20,000 volunteers to help before and during the games. One of the largest sporting venues will be at University of Toronto Scarborough, where a state-of-the-art facility will open this summer.

 “I volunteer because of the impact the games will have on our community. My motivation is community in all honesty, how it will be represented come games time and the legacy component of the games, such as infrastructure, that will have a lasting positive impact.”

Ahmed’s interests in volunteering and advocating for youth social issues began early as Grade 7, when she attended a Free the Children Take Action academy. She has since volunteered for Free the Children, leading a number of fundraising initiatives in Scarborough. She also acted as a youth councillor for the United Way, and volunteered at the Toronto District School Board’s Student SuperCouncil. Currently she represents Canada on the State Farm Youth Advisory Board and volunteers with the Outburst Movement.

“I have learned a lot from my fellow volunteers and the organizations I have worked with,” she says. “I gained valuable experiences that I could only find volunteering, skills that have allowed to me grow as an individual.”




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