Emma Burnside loves listening to music, playing piano, swimming and baking. The 20-year-old can be found playing games and being outdoors.
Emma is also legally blind but that has not stopped her from helping others.
Emma is joining the YMCA of Greater Saint John as a volunteer this summer. The graduate of St. Malachy’s High School had volunteered a few years ago with the Y at the Forest Glen Community Centre Summer Day Camp. She loved the social aspects of camp, learning how to become a camp counselor by assisting the campers during daily activities, going on field trips and, of course, one of her favorite activities – swimming.
Emma, who lives at home with her mother Lisa, step-father Chris and dog Max and cat Milo, will volunteer once again at the Forest Glen Summer Day Camp Program with her support worker. Jennifer Cormier, supervisor of the Forest Glen After-School Program and Summer Day Camp, is thrilled to have Emma back, and Emma is excited to do all the things she loves and provide support to the staff and children.
We always say the Y has a super power. Describing it is hard. You can’t see it. You can’t touch it. But we know it’s there. Our members and participants feel it. We’ve all felt it too. It changes lives. It changes communities. We need to nurture it, so everyone can unleash it. What is it, you may ask? It is the power of belonging.
Emma’s story is one of so many that continues to exemplify this super power, showing us the impact the Y is not only having on our community and those that participate in our programs, but the impact that it is having on our volunteers. Volunteering with the Y allows the opportunity to grow and develop skills while connecting with the community at the same time.
The Y is not just a building, but a home and a community to many.