19 September 2023
Rewarding connections: A volunteer’s journey with Ucan2
Ucan2 is a program that connects volunteers with multicultural young people between the ages of 16 and 25. Through these social connections, the volunteers engage with young people through sports, assisting with life admin or giving career guidance, once a week. Angeline Karvinkop has been volunteering with Ucan2 for over a year and a half and has found it a rewarding experience.
Angeline started with Ucan2 in 2022. She originally came across CMY when she was looking for work placement as part of her Diploma of Youth Work studies at RMIT. Angeline is now studying a Bachelor of Youth Work. Ucan2 particularly resonated with her due to her own lived experience growing up as a multicultural young person in Australia.
“When I first saw CMY and their values, it really aligned with me as a person,” says Angeline.
“The fact that there was an organisation that was supporting migrants and refugees in this space, I loved that.”
Angeline works with young people every Friday afternoon connecting with them socially, taking them shopping for groceries and helping them build a strong CV. Sometimes, her volunteering extends to accompanying young people on excursions to the Museum or ACMI. No matter how she is involved, Angeline relishes every Friday she spends with Ucan2.
“Getting to connect with the students every week, honestly, my Fridays are the highlight of my week because I get to do this.”
Angeline has also found that volunteering with Ucan2 is preparing her more and more for a career in youth work. She enjoys the fact that she gets to share her own experiences with her students and in doing so, has deepened her connection to her youth work aspirations.
“I have many experiences engaging with other young people who might have similar cultural backgrounds to me, and I get to represent myself in that space,” Angeline says.
“This is the whole reason that I started doing youth work because I realised that from my own experience, although they were quite negative ones, I wanted to sort of change that for others and be like ‘hang on, I can use that as my strength!’”
Angeline loves her work with Ucan2 because of the weekly connections she has with like-minded young people. Every Friday, whether it’s big or small, she sees a tangible difference to the lives of the young people she works with.
“As volunteers we get to do a pathway presentation and whenever I do that, I noticed that the students really appreciated me sharing my experiences,” Angeline says.
Reflecting on why other people should get involved with Ucan2, Angeline thinks her involvement in the program has improved her study, her work and even her life.
“If you want to gain experience working with other young people, I think Ucan2 is honestly the best place to start,” Angeline says.
“It’s been an amazing opportunity for me, and I’ve seen how the students grow each week as well. I have no negative things to say.”
Ucan2 is a partnership between CMY and Foundation House, and is funded by the Australian Government Department of Home Affairs.