29 May Youth Central 8 Alumni: Edward Choi
Youth Central is celebrating its 25 anniversary by profiling 25 of its alumni!
To help in this mission, Youth Are Awesome (YAA), a program of Youth Central, is helping out by interviewing and writing articles about the alumni. This article is written by Danielle Leong, a junior editor on the YAA team.
Edward Choi is an alumnus who has given much time and effort to Youth Central. For six years, 2005 – 2011, he volunteered with Youth Central, ultimately contributing more than seven hundred hours in volunteerism.
He began as a Grade 10 student, like many Youth Central volunteers do, who was recruited as part of the Sir Winston Churchill High School Youth Volunteer Corps (YVC) steering committee. After recognizing his interest and clear passion for volunteerism, he went on to join the Youth Volunteer Corps steering committee of Calgary. YVC was Edward’s gateway into the wonderful branches of Youth Central, and he took an interest in the Empty Bowls program and Global Youth Service Day.
“My favourite experience was the Global Youth Service day in 2008 where we organized a project called Spring into Action,” Edward said. “It was a three-day event promoting active living and healthy eating for children.”
In this event, Edward and his peers organized 12 sports days in various low-income Calgary communities, to encourage children that lacked financial support to participate in organized sports.
“My favourite part [of this experience] was that I was able to do something fun with friends, while still creating a positive impact in our community.”
With those words, Edward sums up one of the joys of being a Youth Central volunteer, which has remained the same since he was a volunteer and will remain in the future- the joy of making a positive difference in the community, all the while developing close friendships with other young people who share a similar kind-heartedness.
After graduating high school, Edward studied in a double major undergraduate program in biological sciences and mathematics at the University of Calgary (U of C). After a few years, he transferred to the University of British Columbia for medical school. Edward is currently in his second year of Anesthesiology Residency, which he is studying at the U of C. Edward has continued to volunteer and eventually became a member of the Youth Central board of directors and on the communications and fund development committees.
Every individual gains something valuable from being involved in a cause such as Youth Central. Here is what Edward learned:
“It provided me with the opportunity to develop my leadership skills and helped me understand the importance of philanthropy and compassion for others. It helped me realize that you can find a career that not only makes you happy, but can allow you to provide for your community.”
Here are Edward’s words of advice to youth, “Pursue something you love, and share that passion with others – you would be surprised at how large of a difference a strong youth voice can make.”