1. Describe your main roles as a NaloxHome volunteer.
I am a senior youth educator with NaloxHome. In this role, I do 45-minute presentations in schools across SD43 to inform students of the overdose crisis in BC and how to use the life-saving drug naloxone. In addition to school presentations, I also do community presentations and I have had the wonderful experience of presenting to people from all around BC. In addition to my role as an educator, I also help to plan events with the organization as well as attend events as well. I have done pickups for our charity drives, and I have attended overdose awareness day with NaloxHome. Most recently I have picked up garbage and sharps in my community for spring cleanup.
2. What inspired you to join NaloxHome in the first place?
In university, I took a criminology course that introduced me to the overdose crisis and I was completely appalled that I was only learning about the declared crisis in 2020. Before joining NaloxHome I had written papers on drug decriminalization and was trying to better educate myself on the topic. When I saw that Chloe had started NaloxHome I immediately wanted to join, as this seemed like a group that fits my thoughts towards harm reduction and the overdose crisis. I felt that more should be done to educate our community on the current overdose crisis, and I wanted to create change by working to make a difference in my community.
3. What is the best part of volunteering with NaloxHome?
One of the best parts about working with NaloxHome is being able to make connections in the community and feel like I am positively contributing to ending the overdose crisis. I have also made lots of connections within NaloxHome with other youth that have similar interests to mine. However, if I was to choose one thing that is genuinely the best part of volunteering for NaloxHome I would choose the connections that we make with the students we educate. When the students are receptive to the information and want to learn even more, it truly makes me feel that we are actively contributing to the end of the overdose crisis. Education reduces stigma, and reducing stigma is crucial to the end of the overdose crisis.
4. Why is it important for youth to be involved in their community?
Being involved in your community is something that I feel can be overlooked sometimes, but now that I am a youth involved in my community I couldn’t emphasize the importance of it more. It allows for better connections to be made which in turn further strengthens the community. Additionally, I don’t think many people realize how many problems need to be addressed within your community. By being involved you can observe these problems and take steps to make your community a better place. If we all have the mentality that someone else will do it, then no one will do it. It’s always better to take the initiative than to wait for it to happen. Take those first steps yourself and the community will be better for it.
5. Do you have any advice for prospective NaloxHome volunteers?
To any prospective NaloxHome volunteers I would say don’t be scared to put yourself out there. Regardless of your previous experience, you can make a difference in your community just by putting in the effort. Also, don’t forget that making a change doesn’t just look one way. I enjoy public speaking, so presentations are something that I gravitate towards. However, if public speaking isn’t an interest for you you can work on events committees or manage social media. The isn’t a limit on ways in which you can improve your community, all you have to do is put yourself out there and be willing to help.
6. Describe a meaningful moment from volunteering at NaloxHome
A very meaningful moment I have had is when our founder Chloe Goodison and I did a presentation at Suwa’lkh school. It was one of my first in-person presentations and the students were so great. The interactions at this school were so positive and we were able to have discussions surrounding questions that they had, which made the presentation even better. I was not taught about the overdose crisis or naloxone in high school, so it makes it that much more meaningful to me when both new education is being taught and the students are so receptive to the information. Student participation really reinforces that we are making a difference and makes the whole experience so incredibly meaningful.