Diana Reid was born and raised in Edmonton. She has lived in Calgary for over 35 years and has two adult children and a teenage son. Diana holds a Diploma in Addiction Studies with Aboriginal Focus and is currently working towards her certification in Women’s Studies. Over the years, she has worked in the field of addictions as well as in the airline industry, and she has volunteered in multiple capacities with several agencies in the social service sector.
Diana has always been conscious about the struggles many immigrants are facing, especially their experiences around language barriers while making a home in a new country. She recognized that not being able to communicate as a newcomer can be isolating, and she wished to connect with women and create a community together. Back then, she already knew about CIWA, and she was also aware of how CIWA’s New Friends and Neighbourhood Groups (NFNG) program helps address this very issue. In 2019, Diana began volunteering as a group facilitator at a local library before smoothly transitioning to Zoom.
“Volunteering with NFNG is a win-win situation. I’m fortunate that I get to be a part of the participants’ lives and that I also learn from them. Volunteering for me is being able to give back to my community, see the small changes it can bring to someone else’s life, and see the smile on their faces through the process. “
Diana enjoys the openness and willingness the women exhibit by sharing their stories and supporting one another. The women she meets consistently inspire her with their thirst for knowledge and growth. Diana enjoys seeing the smiles on their faces as they learn, grow, and connect with one another. She acknowledges that many of CIWA’s clients have faced many difficulties, and yet they still inspire others through their joy and gratitude for living in Canada.
“We have some good laughs along the way, sometimes at my own expense because I misunderstand what they’re trying to say or convey! I’ve even learned a few words in different languages, too! Moreover, instead of seeing the differences among us, I see the similarities and commonalities we all share!”
New Friends and Neighbourhood Groups has benefitted greatly from Diana’s support. Having Diana as a volunteer ensures that her group is running smoothly no matter what changes and challenges arise. She is consistent and deeply committed to her role as a group facilitator. She holds engaging sessions, interacts with clients really well and demonstrates calm and confidence at all times. Diana also shows that she cares for the group participants with her intentional interactions with them.
Outside of volunteering, Diana absolutely loves the outdoors. Her hobbies include hiking, kayaking, cross-country skiing, playing street hockey with her son, and continually learning and growing on a personal and professional level.
To learn more about New Friends and Neighbourhood Groups, click here.