Meet Valentine – Our New Summer Student!

Hi, my name is Valentine, and despite popular assumption, I wasn’t born on Valentine’s Day! My parents named me Valentine, calling me the “fruit of love” in their lives.

Growing up as a mixed-race child in Canada without extended family nearby, I often felt like an outsider, missing the large family gatherings that seemed to define the Canadian experience of my friends. I was raised in Alberta by immigrant parents and, after my parents split, by my mother alone. Without siblings, my friends became my chosen family, my connection to a sense of belonging.

Now, as I approach my fourth year in Communication Studies at Simon Fraser University in Burnaby, BC, I still find myself struggling with feelings of isolation. Transitioning from out-of-province, establishing local connections has been challenging. However, joining Volunteer Grandparents this summer has been a transformative experience so far. This organization fosters intergenerational connections, which I believe are vital in bridging societal gaps. It’s a place where everyone wins by sharing experiences and wisdom across generations—a truly win-win scenario in my eyes. I’m thrilled to be part of an initiative that not only fosters community bonds but also enriches my personal growth and understanding of what it means to be part of a larger family.