My internship with ember advisory brought me to Toronto for my first summer. I wanted to get to know the community I would be living in and so I decided to volunteer with the Cabbagetown Youth Centre evening soccer league as a head coach of a 4-5 year old team. I had never coached before but it ended up being one of the most rewarding parts of my summer. There are three lessons that I learned over the six-week season that are also built into the core social responsibility strategy at ember: the value of commitment, having a true passion and the need for reciprocity.
1) Commitment: Having played soccer as a kid, I knew that commitment from the coach was a key aspect to creating a good team dynamic. As the summer progressed, I noticed that the more commitment I gave to the kids, the more in turn they gave to me.
2) Passion: In order for volunteerism and social responsibility to be effective it must be something that is a true passion. Soccer is always something that I have loved, and so coming to the field for practice brought me back to my childhood.
3) Reciprocity: In order to effectively make a difference both sides need to be working towards the same goal. As this program was free to those in the community, the kids that benefitted the most were the ones that dragged their parents to the field (not vice versa).
These three elements are at the core of ember’s social responsibility strategy. Rob’s focus and dedication for Winds of Change has inspired me to stay involved, as so often it slips away from people once they have graduated.