HCLF works closely with volunteers to help us achieve our goal of inspiring and empowering youth. For this edition of "Through the Eyes of The Volunteer: Becoming My Dream Version" we are giving one of our Heart-Centered Impact Coaches the chance to express how she experienced volunteering at HCLF.
Heart-Centered Impact Coaches are our volunteer peer coaches who assist during our activities by supporting and empowering youth.
Here's what Alyeska had to say about her experience.
My name is Alyeska Lake, most people know and call me by my nickname Aly. I am 26 years old, born and raised in the sunrise city, San Nicolas, Aruba and I am currently living in The Netherlands. As of February 2022, I became a Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychologist after obtaining my Master’s Degree at Leiden University. My hobbies include creating art, working on my brand ‘The Pretty Boy’s Club’, watching movies, reading, and gaming – I’m actually just a nerd and geek.
How did you discover HCLF?
I have known about, and became associated with, the Heart-Centered Leadership Foundation since July 2022 when I participated in the I Am workshop. Thereafter, I chose to follow the trajectory of becoming a Heart-Centered Impact Coach (HCIC), which included activities like Transformational Leadership Program:Insight I, workshops catered to learning about Group Dynamics & Facilitation, Impact Café, assisting projects of the Heart-Centered Youth Leaders (HCYLs), and even planning, designing, and executing a closing ceremony for the HCYLs – Project Double Feature. Furthermore, I also volunteered in the Solidarity Program initiative for the HCYLs.
How would you describe the feeling of being a volunteer at HCLF?
At HCLF, I had the most fun and laughed like I never laughed before – it is truly always the best time; I have no regrets. My most memorable moment from my experience as a volunteer and HCIC is the sense of belonging and family that was created at a very early stage. Through the activities and get-togethers that were designed for development and growth, I also developed close connections with other HCICs, HCYLs, and of course, the internal HCLF team members. Additionally, I always felt pride and a sense of accomplishment after talking to youth. One core memory for me is the Impact Cafés at the John Wesley, Filomena College Mavo, and Abraham de Veer School, where we talked about mental resilience. The sessions were well received by the youths who were quite engaged and ready to share their thoughts and opinions on the topic, as well as other mental health discussion points.
How has volunteering at HCLF impacted your personal and professional life?
I learned that I had a lot more layers and skills than I initially thought I had. And with the help of HCLF I had the opportunity to develop these skills and talents further, as well as utilize them – putting them into practice. I tend to characterize myself as a big dreamer with big ambitions, so being able to visualize these dreams has been one of my greatest accomplishments, thanks to HCLF. Getting to know myself better helped me shape my mind and path – personally and professionally. I know exactly who I am, who I want to be, where I want to be, what I want to do, and with whom. All of these things I believe I already had in me, but it was the challenges provided by HCLF, which allowed me to really see my full potential and do something about it. To get a sneak peek preview of what you can potentially hear from me in the future: being my own Boss – probably in more than one venture. Don’t forget my name, Alyeska ‘Aly’ Lake :)
What is your greatest take-away after you volunteered with HCLF?
Ultimately, my biggest take-away from my experience at HCLF is that they see you for who you are, not just what you show them; they see the full scope of the person you are and could be.
Would you recommend others to volunteer at HCLF?
If you want to be a part of a team that is doing something meaningful in the lives of the youth in the San Nicolas community, while also having a meaningful impact on your own life, join as a volunteer at the Heart-Centered Leadership Foundation!
Did Alyeska's experience move you to join our Heart-Centered Impact Coaches?
If you are between 18 and 29, have a passion for giving back and are interested in enhancing your personal and professional development…
Registration closes 13th of February.