Kaitlin Grovet was recently nominated for a 2015 Young Woman of Excellence Award for her work in volunteerism and trying to draw Lacombe’s community groups closer together.
Grovet has volunteered with a number of different initiatives and also played a leading role in developing the City’s online volunteer handbook that was launched last year. She has also put forward extensive effort in trying to bridge communications and relationships between the City of Lacombe and Burman University.
“I know this might sound ridiculous, but I am incredibly humbled by the fact that I was nominated for this. I think it’s so humbling because you recognize that although I love Lacombe, and I love my community where I live, there are people who do so much more. They exert themselves to help their community, and I don’t feel like I’m on that level, and know that there are so many people that do so much more,” she said.
“I wouldn’t be in the position I’m in without the people who believed in me, and dumped big projects on me and said I could do it. That’s humbling as well – knowing that there are people who believed in me and helped me realize my dream and passion. I think that is so vitally important – people who push you when you need it.”
Grovet said she never considered herself to be an ‘active volunteer’, but her resume says otherwise. She spent 10 months teaching Grade 3 students in the Marshall Islands and has been involved in a wide variety of local events. As well, she was put in charge of organizing volunteers for a Burman University event known as ‘Service Day’.
“Service day basically takes as many students as we can get and gets them to go out and volunteer in the community through different projects. One was a beautification project for the City of Lacombe. It was a ton of fun,” Grovet said.
“At the end of the day, it was so neat to see all of these students come together and be so excited about volunteering their time. There were hundreds of people and they were so giving. I had a great time managing all of these volunteers, and that really peaked my interest.”
She said this experience ignited a spark that she didn’t know she had – a love for managing volunteers. As a business management major, Grovet took an internship with the City of Lacombe and it was there she fed this interest in the concept of volunteerism.
Grovet was instrumental in creating the online volunteer handbook, and through the process of researching organizations for this composition she said she really fell in love with the concept of volunteerism.
“(The volunteer handbook) kind of got dumped on me at once, and without even realizing it I started to fall in love with the concept of volunteerism. What I love about volunteerism the most is that the people, generally, who are volunteering and spending their time, want to be there. They genuinely want to help, and you get a lot of repeat volunteers. It’s so interesting to think that they aren’t getting anything from it except satisfaction. I just love that.”
The other major component to Grovet’s nomination is her work to tie together the City of Lacombe administration and Burman University. She said that during her time as an intern, people would often ask her who to contact at the school and she found more often than not that she could not provide an easy answer. This led her to want to establish more connectivity between the two groups.
She said she wishes she were still enrolled at Burman simply for the fact that she would love to dedicate herself to helping manifest this connection.
“Someone came into my office with the City and asked me a question about the University. They came back into my office about an hour later and said, I have no idea who to contact at your university and how to reach them. I gave him a name and number for where I thought they should be, and it got me thinking that it had happened a few times,” Grovet said.
“I started speaking with Dr. Mark Haynal, the president of Burman and asked him how we can get more in contact with people. It’s come up a few places now that Burman needs to be more connected with the City and the community in general. It’s going to be a long process. It’s a 50/50 thing and both sides really need to put that in.”
She added she is very passionate about establishing this connection and she hopes the two groups will continue to work toward a little more unity.
This summer, Grovet will be adding another exciting adventure to her list of experiences as she travels to Kenya with local charitable organization A Better World Canada. She will travel as part of a group to survey and report on current projects and their sustainability in the community.
The final announcements for the recipients of the 2015 Women of Excellence Awards will be made at the gala held on June 9th at the Sheraton in Red Deer.