Pearl is a grandparent, a former nurse, and a former supervisor of a group home for substance abusers. When her health became an issue, she had to retire and change her lifestyle. While receiving social assistance she acted on her strong sense of community by thinking about how she could continue to help others.

She initially had no particular ties to the school community where she now volunteers. Her children didn’t attend this school. She doesn’t live in the neighbourhood. However, she did pass by the school on her way home on the bus almost every day after her volunteer work with adults in downtown Galt. One day she got off the bus, went into the school and asked if there was anything she could do. It was almost as though something was beckoning her in.

Indeed her timing was perfect! The Strong Start® Volunteer Co-ordinator, got her involved immediately as a Strong Start® Coach. Pearl quickly came to this realization:

“Many times I saw myself in the child I was helping. I struggled as a child. I had difficulty learning. I would have loved someone to help me the way I’m helping the children here. It’s a JOY to be here. I need to be doing something challenging… something stimulating. This is a very healthy environment that provides the challenge and the stimulation. That’s why I volunteer.”