Meet Benia, a volunteer at CIWA’s Child Development Worker Training Program and August’s Volunteer of the Month.

Benia Szewczyk-Lagowska was born and raised in Poland, where she earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Journalism. She held multiple positions including working in radio and teaching Polish in Poland and Germany. In 2011, she and her husband moved to Canada and later gave birth to their son. Teaching comes naturally to Benia; she enjoys her current role as a Teacher’s Assistant to kindergarten children in a local private school.

Benia began her involvement with CIWA when she enrolled and successfully completed the Child Development Worker Training Program (CDWT) in 2020. After graduating from the CDWT Program, she became a volunteer. Benia supports CDWT students with their assignments and gives them moral support. She assists in reviewing, checking and giving feedback to written assignments to help clients successfully complete this 13-month program and acquire a certification in Level 2 Early Childhood Education.

She has been a valuable helping hand for CDWT program staff, especially in the wake of the pandemic. She took a supportive role that requires extra time, keen attention to detail and academic knowledge, given the many researches and write-ups to review and provide feedback on. She does all these with great passion and a big heart. Her immeasurable support has greatly impacted the success of the program’s last two intakes.

Benia thoroughly enjoys being able to combine her passion for teaching, language and writing. Supporting clients with their written assignments is near to her heart. She is honoured to be able to connect with clients, learn about different cultures and communication styles in order to help support their success. She says this role combines her passion with professional experience. She is grateful to be able to give back in whatever capacity she can.

Benia understands the importance of taking her volunteer role seriously and treats it with the same dignity and commitment as she would paid employment. She recognizes the importance of commitment and aims to understand client’s culture and individuality prior to offering advice and support uniquely tailored to each individual. She is positive and professional in delivering services to clients. She has great time-management skills which she uses when giving timely feedback to students’ assignments. In addition, she has excellent editing and academic writing skills that help a lot in students’ research and essays. Without her incredible support, the success of the last two intakes would not have been the same.

Benia is also passionate about Indigenous history and culture. She looks for unique opportunities to immerse herself in a variety of meaningful endeavors and was also involved with The Shoe Project. In her spare time, Benia enjoys reading, writing short-stories, embarking upon nature walks, and camping.

Congratulations, Benia, for being Volunteer of the Month for August! Click here for more information on volunteering opportunities.