Nicole has always volunteered in the community, she believes that it's everyones calling to provide service. "It just makes sense to me to share my cooking skills, to teach students to cook and to provide other students with nutritious meals at little or no cost.
"The fundraising activities for the breakfast program at my school have provided a valuable networking oppurtunitiy which increases my engagement in the community. The Food & Friends Program has became a part of my identity and has given me a sense of purpose in providing such positive benefits to students through cooking and serving others. When you help someone else you feel better as a person and it gives you great purpose in life.
"My volunteer programs are also appreciated financially by parents in the community who otherwise might not be able to provide nutritious meals for their children. Children who otherwise might not eat breakfast do better in class and in life in general when they receive a nutritious meal. I can see positive changes in a lot of students who are involved in the breakfast program and the volunteers have developed their social skills through their involvement. Two student volunteers now attend the Stratford Culinary School as a result of the positive influence of their volunteer work with our breakfast program.
"Volunteer students tell me that they really look forward to attending my cooking class and helping with the breakfast plan. Their enjoyment of volunteering helps them to appreciate the school environment as a whole."
Nicole said that when she was a cadet in Girl Guides, there was a leader volunteer who was very kind and positive and made her feel more included in activities, providing a sense of belonging within the group. She understands that this is the kind of impact you can have on people when you volunteer. Nicole has also shared her spirt of volunteerism with her two daughters and they have also volunteered with the breakfast program at their highschool. "My daughters seem to have followed in their mother's footsteps as they believe in the importance of community service."
Nicole is making many lives brighter!