Between going to school full-time, two part-time jobs and two internships, Stacey Kelly still finds time to volunteer on and off campus.
It all started her first year in the business administration program when she became a student leader to get involved in school.
“That’s what kind of started my volunteering within the college,” said Kelly. “I was a student leader then for the following year I applied to be a senior leader.”
Since then, Kelly has worked on numerous community projects, gone to the Dominican Republic and Nicaragua for alternative spring break, and will be speaking at this year’s National We Day event.
Because of her involvement, she has been recognized as the Volunteer of the Year at the Volunteer Appreciation Gala March 23.
“It was an amazing honour to be nominated and even receive the award. I was completely shocked and a little nauseous at the time,” Kelly said with a laugh.
The other award winners announced were Stacey Randell for Community Impact, Laura Hunt for Class Representative of the Year and Trevor Anders for Dedication and Involvement.
“I feel really good,” said Anders after receiving the award, “I know the competition was tight and there’s a lot of well-deserving individuals and I think everybody, despite winning an award, should be recognized for what they do.”
Anders is a senior student leader, class representative, and volunteer for community events with the AC Hub, the Ottawa-Carleton Association for Persons with Developmental Disabilities and the Ottawa Police.
“If you haven’t done (volunteer work), do it once and you’ll never look back,” said Anders.
This was the fourth Volunteer Appreciation Gala organized and hosted by the AC Hub.
“The gala is constructed to thank the volunteers,” said Sophia Bouris, a teacher in the event management program and AC Hub coordinator. “It’s growing every year.”
Bouris said this year’s event was particularly special because the community partners that are helped by Algonquin’s volunteers were invited, along with Ottawa Deputy Mayor Mark Taylor.
As a graduate of the event management program and a current teacher, Bouris and her colleague Ben Dinh used their expertise to create a sophisticated evening all about the volunteers.
“I think that they’re great, they’re amazing inspirations,” said Reda El Taki, a second-year police foundations student and nominee for the Volunteer of the Year award. “All these people go above and beyond to serve their community.”
El Taki said he was inspired to join police foundations and become a volunteer because of his high school football coaches.
He has worked with the Purple Couch, Barrhaven’s Lion Club and many other causes.
Deputy Mayor Mark Taylor spoke at the gala in support of Algonquin’s volunteers and ended his speech by saying, “It was paid workers who built the Titanic, and volunteers who built Noah’s Arc.”