It may be hard to believe, but just 20 months ago, the I Can Network was comprised of three people. Now, we number more than fifty.
While many of us are grizzled veterans who’ve been around since the prehistoric mists of late 2013/early 2014, something truly exciting has begun to happen; people who started off as mentees in our schools program or participants at our camps have moved up to join the ranks of our staff.
Not only do these new additions bring valuable fresh perspectives and new blood into our organization, but as a part of our I Can family, it’s been awesome seeing them spread their wings.
“I want to help others the way others have helped me,” says Elise Muller, who attended our first teens camp as a participant. “It’s a pay it forward thing.”
Anthony Hay, another new mentor, has a similar outlook. “I wanted to become a mentor because I like to help people and I feel that I know what the younger generation with autism is going through,” he says.
Naturally, it can be a challenge getting to a new role and responsibilities. “I wasn’t sure about being a mentor at first, because I was nervous,” admits Emily, who is currently our youngest mentor. “But my mum said ‘just go and see what it’s like, and if you don’t like it, you don’t have to do it’. So I did, and I had fun. I got to know the other mentors more, and became friends with them.”
It seems with almost every new camp and event, we meet fresh volunteers, and each one offers a unique new colour to the I Can spectrum.