February Volunteer of the Month – Elise Barber
January 29, 2018
How did you get involved with QMUNITY?
I got involved with Q after hearing about the youth program from Lau, a former youth worker at Q. I was looking for opportunities to volunteer with youth and connect with the queer community and this seemed like a great fit!
Tell me a bit about yourself!
I’m originally from Ontario, and moved to Vancouver 4.5 years ago. I love cycling adventures, cooking good food and hosting parties. I’m a community social worker, an amateur photographer, and an avid baker!
What’s your favourite part of volunteering at QMUNITY?
I love that my volunteer role involves a lot of laughter, good conversations and board games. I really enjoy getting to know the youth and learning from and alongside them.
Tell me a short story of an interaction at QMUNITY that stands out for you.
I have been moved by many of my one-to-one conversations with youth. Whether it’s checking in about their name change paperwork process, or hearing about how they are standing up to transphobia within their school’s administration, or chatting with a youth who recently arrived as a refugee, I’ve been so humbled and inspired by the incredible resilience, determination and integrity of queer and trans youth.
I also remember the feeling of my heart simultaneously melting and bursting at the Queer Prom when after the last song ended, the remaining group gathered together for a big group hug!
What does your happy place look like?
Probably hanging out on a sunny day in a park with friends and a picnic!
What is your favourite food and why?
Too hard to choose… maybe fresh raspberries and whipped cream. I think I’m just missing summer!
What items could you not survive without?
I couldn’t live without access to music.
What’s your favourite way to spend a day in Vancouver?
My ideal day starts with walking over to Trout Lake to buy flowers and treats at the farmers’ market, then taking a walk down the Drive, meeting friends for a drink or park hangout. Then watching the sunset from a beach or hosting folks at my place before going dancing!
Message from Esther, one of our Youth Workers:
We are so grateful for Elise’s consistency, especially with special events support. Elise makes our events magical by bringing her own lights, and is capable and comfortable in so many more roles: energetic greeter, quiet conversationalist, games participant – the list goes on. Thank you so much, Elise!
Interview by Alannah James, Volunteer Coordinator