Applauding Our Volunteers

April 19 – 25 is National Volunteer Week and we want to applaud our volunteers!

Dedicated, passionate, generous, helpful. These are only a handful of words to describe the people who walk through our doors every day – or connect via phone and online as we work from home – to offer their time, skills, and knowledge as volunteers.

At ISANS, we could not do what we do without the help of our more than 700 volunteers. Whether it be the Dalhousie law students offering legal assistance, practice interviewers helping newcomers prepare for interviews, EAL tutors helping language learners fine-tune their English speaking skills, the impact our volunteers have is indescribable. They champion our mission and vision and truly do help create a community where all can belong and grow.

To highlight the impact that volunteers have, we asked some individuals to share how our volunteers have helped them, and what their experience has meant to them.

“I was able to join the IEN study group started last October 2019. The program helped me to pass my recent NCLEX exam last January 2020. . . The professional volunteer facilitators really guide me on how to answer questions especially if I don’t know what is being asked by the question. I am really thankful and appreciate all effort you have put into this review to make it happen. I hope you and ISANS will continue to have this program to help the other aspiring RN here in Nova Scotia.” - Maria Rogelyn, Internationally Educated Nurse “My mentor is very knowledgeable and approachable. She understands my career goal and my background including strengths and weaknesses very well. She offered very useful suggestions about how to hunt the job that I intended[.] My mentor always encouraged me to apply for the positions that I have my confidence in as if she knows me better than I do myself.” - Minjing Sun, Mentee, Professional Mentorship Program

We also asked some of our volunteers to share why they give back. Here is what they had to say.

"For many, volunteerism is a waste of valuable time but....... it is in volunteering that some of my best moments are made." - Dr. Andrew Salmon, MBBS, MPH, International Medical Graduate Bridging Program Assistant As a newcomer myself I understand the anxiety and initial teething troubles anyone would come across in a new land with new people and culture around. Also since I have Human Resource and recruitment experience, I felt my involvement as a Practice Interviewer would be a perfect way to get connected with the newcomers and give back to my community with helping ease the initial stress of facing job interviews and initial settlement.” - Swati Singh, Practice Interviewer “The volunteers we've met through the VIC program have been some of the most cheerful, willing, and engaged volunteers we've seen from any part of the community. But just as important as the work they do for us are the relationships we form with them – relationships that make us more compassionate, understanding, and better at serving people, which is really why our organization exists at all.” - Sage Beatson, Volunteer Coordinator, Loaded Ladle, ISANS Volunteering in the Community (VIC) Community Partner “I would like to help the internationally educated nurses (IENs) that are on the same path as me. It can be very confusing and frustrating for new immigrants like the IENs to navigate the system. I am so fortunate to have accessed ISANS programs and services supporting immigrant nurses. Now I have the opportunity giving back to the program, sharing some of my personal experiences to clients that are preparing for their licensure examination.” - Shuyi Hou, IEN Bridging Program Assistant “My learner and I have been working together since [October 2019] and it counts as one of my most enjoyable experiences. She is from South Korea, has had many life experiences, has many interests and she has been in Nova Scotia for five years. Even from the beginning I realized I had much to learn from her and I am grateful for that.” - Teresa Kilbride, English as a Second Language (EAL) Tutor


If you or someone you know is interested in becoming an ISANS volunteer, click here.