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Helpers: For Collège Notre-Dame student Samantha Montgomery helping out just comes naturally

‘If I can help, I’m going to help. Even if people don’t recognize the effort, it is still bringing them joy’
Recent high school graduate Samantha Montgomery is a dyed in the wool volunteer.

Samantha Montgomery is 17 years old.  She will be 18 next month.  As the eldest of three children, she seems to be an adult already, wise beyond her years.  Her capacity to care and her community-mindedness can inspire us all to give of ourselves and help out a little more.

During her high school years at Collège Notre-Dame, Montgomery was involved with the Student Radio Association and Leadership Committee. She participated in the Francophone Youth Parliament held at Queen’s Park and in the organization and promotion of the Fédération de la jeunesse franco-ontarienne’s (FESFO) LGBTQ+ conference.

Montgomery also takes part in fundraising drives supporting the Northern Cancer Research Foundation and volunteers with many local organizations, including the Blue Door Soup Kitchen, the Northern Lights Festival Boréal, the Place des Arts du Grand Sudbury, the Onaping Winter Carnival, March Break Bullyproof Camp and Development and Peace.

This young lady has helped out a lot and credits her family for this initiative to volunteer.

“Growing up, my dad volunteered on the Board of Directors for the Sudbury Yacht Club.  I saw work going into things that seemed effortless.  At home, I was encouraged to get out and get involved.  I grew up with a sense to help.”

Montgomery believes in the importance of helping others and volunteers for this reason.

“I understand people need extra help.  If I can help, I do.  Whenever I saw someone needing help, I offered it.  If you can help, do it.”

With one chapter ending and another beginning, Montgomery knows she will continue to volunteer.  This fall, she will begin her studies at the University of Ottawa to pursue her degree in biochemistry and chemical engineering.  While away, she plans to get involved in university life and help build a sense of community, like in earlier (elementary and high school) chapters.  

“There may not be as many opportunities, but I’ll take the challenge.  Helping with anything I enjoy is worth it.  I’m excited!”

Montgomery knew she wanted to pursue a career involving math and science in Grade 1.  Her dedication and determination are ingrained.  Her work ethic and desire to help will most certainly be appreciated wherever life takes her.  

In high school, Montgomery gave of herself to various initiatives.  She felt she was helping others, and acknowledges the personal benefits of her volunteer efforts.  

“I really enjoyed it.  Everyone was kind.  I really felt I belonged at school and in that community.  The teachers helped run student radio and leadership and I felt I was doing good.  I improved my communication skills and confidence.  At times, I thought, it might be tough, but I can get through.  I got closer to my peers and made friends with people I wouldn’t have otherwise, especially with COVID.”

Whether while at Jiu-Jitsu or curling, Montgomery would stay longer to help others.  

“I would stay two hours after practice to help out.  If I’m already there, I might as well give some help where needed.”

Seeing the smiling faces makes Montgomery happy.  Her genuine desire to contribute to her community is evident, as she recounts her experience.  

“If I can help, I’m going to help.  I like to support others so they are not alone.  We all take things for granted.  There is a lot of effort that goes in so that you can take it for granted.  I like to volunteer so others have time to enjoy themselves.  Even if people don’t recognize the effort, it is still bringing them joy.”

Samantha Montgomery’s Words of Volunteer Wisdom

“You can help someone while doing what you enjoy. If you are passionate about something, go to your coach, teacher, or someone involved and ask how to join. The world runs on volunteers. You never know until you put yourself out there. It’s totally worth it. Seeing all the smiles on all the faces is such a reward.”  

Erin Medakovic is a freelance writer and editor in Sudbury, and a contributor. Helpers is made possible by our Community Leadership Program.