Healthy CommunitiesYMCA Employment ProgramsYMCA Volunteers

Dedicated YMCA volunteer wins provincial award for 10 years of service

28 November 2019 - by Sarah Cowan
For many high school students, gaining community service hours is just another task on their to-do list before graduating. Edna Dontoh had a different experience: she discovered just how meaningful and rewarding it is to provide support and guidance to job seekers as a volunteer at YMCA Employment Services.

Edna has been volunteering as a resource centre assistant at Mississauga YMCA Employment and Community Services for the past decade. Her hard work and dedication were recognized at the Ontario Volunteer Service Awards in September.

Developing new skills

Edna started spending her Saturdays in the resource centre as part of the YMCA’s Youth Leadership Development Program (YLD). At first, she did it to gain her high school community service hours, but she enjoyed it so much that she kept coming back!

Edna’s role at the resource centre involves showing our clients how to access the free resources we have available to support their job search. She says the volunteer position has been an excellent learning opportunity, especially when it comes to listening to people’s needs and communicating effectively.
“I’ve gained a lot of customer service experience and interpersonal skills because I get to interact with a variety of different people.”

Edna says it feels good to make an impact on someone’s life in small but meaningful ways, like helping them craft their resume so they can find a job.

Being recognized at the Ontario Volunteer Service Awards

Group shot of Edna and Mississauga employment staff

Now Edna’s passion for helping others has been recognized on a provincial level.

Barbara Bator, who is an employment resources consultant at Mississauga YMCA Employment and Community Services, nominated Edna for the Ontario Volunteer Service Awards after hearing about her 10th anniversary. Barbara is so happy and proud of Edna for receiving the award.
“Our volunteers are a huge part of our resource centre,” says Barbara. “They provide excellent customer service to our clients. They also give a warm welcome to newcomers and embrace diversity.”

Edna is so thankful to have received the award.

“All the MPPs for Mississauga were at the event and they all talked about community service and how they are encouraged to see so many people volunteering,” she recalls.

Applying to jobs with confidence

Edna will soon be graduating from Brock University, where she is completing her Masters of Education. She hopes to launch a meaningful career that lets her continue helping others. And she feels confident as she prepares to begin her search for that first job, knowing she can add her 10-year volunteer placement and all the skills she’s gained to her resume.
“I think anyone would gain valuable experience from volunteering at the Y,” says Edna.

Discover for yourself just how rewarding volunteering can be! There are so many opportunities available at YMCA Employment Services, as well as other programs like Health and Fitness and Child Care. Find out how to get started!


Visit to find out more about our programs, services and charitable impact.


See the many ways to give to the Y and help build a brighter future.


Find child care programs that help children and families shine.


Stay healthy, active and connected at our health and fitness centres.


Explore camps and outdoor centres for fun, adventure, leadership, skills-building and more.


Get the job you want and brighten your career with help from Employment Services.


Settle in and light up your new life in the GTA with support from Immigrant Services.


Make new friends, hone new skills and find counselling at our Youth Programs.


Give back and shine on with rewarding YMCA Volunteer Opportunities.


Find out about our green initiatives and what we're doing to build resilience to climate change.


Light up learning at  YMCA Academy, a middle and high school for those who learn differently.