No one signs up to run an open gym program at a community centre thinking they’ll be named Citizen of the Year.
But it’s a pleasant surprise when it happens, says 17-year-old Julina Throop, who earned that distinction last night at a volunteer recognition ceremony at city hall.
Besides running the program at Glen Cairn Community Centre, she was also a summer camp counsellor at the Bridlewood Community Centre, and she raised funds for Kindness for Kenya, which helped to pay school tuition and purchase malaria nets for girls overseas.
“You get a sense of well-being, like you actually made a difference,” she said, explaining why she volunteers.
The Grade 12 student at A.Y. Jackson Secondary School, who will study business administration at Algonquin College in the fall, said volunteering is something that will stay with her for life.
“I really enjoy it. It makes me feel happy.”
The city honoured 18 other outstanding volunteers and the Salvation Army Disaster Services team last night.