Evren S. is the September Volunteer of the Month!
August 29, 2017
Evren has been helping out with GAB youth drop-ins and QMUNITY special events, and we are excited to welcome them as a counselor. Thank you, Evren!
How did you get involved with QMUNITY?
I learned about QMUNITY in bits and pieces over the years, and the catalyst for my involvement was that I could choose the organization(s) I would like to do my counselling practicum with. QMUNITY was my first (and only) choice, and rather than waiting over a year to start giving back to our community, I applied as a volunteer. I have had the pleasure and privilege of spending my time at the GAB youth drop-ins and several other QMUNITY events ever since.
Please tell us a little bit about yourself!
This is still one of the most challenging questions for me. Like most (if not all) others, I occupy many different spaces or identities (i.e., I wear many different hats, so to speak). Among the most salient within this context are that I am a queer, gender-variant, white, European refugee, and settler on unceded indigenous territories (currently the territories of the Coast Salish Peoples: the Squamish, Musqueam, and Tsleil-Waututh). I am perpetually curious, introverted (though not shy), and more geeky and nerdy than I often have the opportunity to express! I also love questions, YA literature, Game of Thrones, cats, and lifting heavy things and putting them down again – often.
Please describe an interaction at QMUNITY that stands out for you.
Honestly, I don’t know if I can pick a single interaction. There have been so many moments in the last year that have been inviting, welcoming, challenging, and consistently engaging.
What stands out to me about QMUNITY is that this is a collective space where we consistently and continuously work to build community, and this kind of community was something I never knew I needed until I found myself here.
What are you most looking forward to about the counselling program?
I am most looking forward to being invited into the lives and stories of others with the opportunity to support, engage, and witness their process and journeys. I’m both nervous and excited to have this opportunity to learn and build skills to better serve others – particularly members of the queer community.
What is your favourite meal to cook and why?
I admit I’m not one for elaborate cooking, but I love making breakfast for family and friends. The rest of my cooking can be described as healthy, nutritious, and pretty bland (like many fitness meal plans).
If you could only bring one book to a desert island, which one would you pick and why?
I would have a hard time choosing between Tamora Pierce’s Squire and Lady Knight because they are the last two books of the quartet and I often think of them as an extended book. I have read the series at least once a year for the last 15 years (still not tired of them!), and it has been the series that has most influenced how I continue to construct my identity – I still want to be Kel when I grow up!
What are your favourite things to do in Vancouver?
One of the things I appreciate about Vancouver is the potential to do so many different physical activities. I used to play and coach tennis when I was younger, and there is no shortage of community courts! I also love Hapkido (though I’ve been on an extended hiatus for about 2 years now), CrossFit, learning to dance, slacklining, and just about anything else I can get into (except for running… I hate running).
Message from Esther – Youth Worker: We are so appreciative of Evren’s involvement in the Youth Program, especially during the summer months when volunteers are away or on vacation. Evren is conscientious and proactively gets involved with projects, often arriving after work or staying late when needed – even with work at 6am the next day! Thank you for your dedication!
Interview by Alannah James, Volunteer Coordinator