Helping children find places to be themselves

2013 Hearts of the Community Volunteer Award winner Tiana Paltiel

Tiana Paltiel

Volunteering is second nature for Grade 12 student Tiana Paltiel.

The Stelly’s Secondary student has been volunteering for close to 10 years and is headed off on her latest endeavor next month.

“I’m heading to Nepal in (March) with Stelly’s Global Perspectives to volunteer there so I’m really looking forward to that,” she said.

Paltiel has volunteered in many capacities including as a swim coach for Piranhas Swim Club and Bayside Middle School, a coordinator for Healthy Schools Week at Stelly’s, a leader at a local girls’ group, a server at Our Place in Victoria and as a volunteer at the Saanich Fair. But it has been her work with people with disabilities that has inspired her the most. Paltiel spends multiple days out of her week (when she’s not at school) working as a respite care provider for families who have children and family members with disabilities.

“I spend time with members from three families right now doing respite care,” she explained, adding she has worked with five families since she started.

“Right now I work with a young girl who has Down Syndrome and we do things like go to the library and the park, and we do yoga. I also work with a young man who has Cerebral Palsy and find activities and things we can do together.

“I get a lot of satisfaction from knowing that not only am I helping those with a disability but that I’m also helping their parents and families because they get time to do the things they need to do as well.”

Paltiel’s interest in working with people with disabilities began early.

“I started being interested in respite care really early on when my poppa was in care. I was young, but when I started going to see him in care I thought to myself  that was something I liked doing.”

Paltiel took the Respite Course through Queen Alexandra Hospital and has since been inspired to turn her interests to nursing.

“I’m applying to the nursing program at Vancouver Island University so hopefully that’s what I’ll be doing,” she said.

Along with traveling to Nepal, Paltiel is looking forward to volunteering for the second year in a row with Operation Trackshoes (OT), an event dedicated to giving youth with disabilities an opportunity to compete in track, field and swimming events.

“It’s a really rewarding experience to be able to give those kids an opportunity to be themselves and spend time together as a group,” Paltiel said. “By the end of the event you really see personalities come out and it’s so great to be able to give the kids an environment where they feel safe to be themselves.”


Just Posted

Peace Walk fundraiser for hospice runs on Sunday

Take a walk, have a snack, and help donate to a local charity

READERS’ CHOICE: Saluting the stars of the Saanich Peninsula

Welcome to the Peninsula News Review’s 13th annual Readers’ Choice Awards, our… Continue reading

BCAM slated to get one of last remaining Lancaster bombers

Approval seems certain despite emotional Torontonian appeals

Saanich Peninsula athletes earn their place at B.C. Games

The Saanich Peninsula will be well-represented next week as the 40th annual… Continue reading

A sled dog with an amazing past shows a young pug the ropes

A local school bus driver and passionate dog lover has written his… Continue reading

Here’s what you need to know about Day 2 at the BC Games

From equestrian to volleyball to swimming, all 18 events in full swing here in the Cowichan Valley

Brush fire breaks out west of Port Alberni

Fire forces partial closure of Highway 4 heading to Ucluelet and Tofino

Accident on Vancouver Island after artillery gun rolls down hill and damages taxi

Witness says accident happend about 1 p.m. Saturday; RCMP investigating

B.C. mining company, involved in 2014 spill, ordered to pay lost wages

Mount Polley Mining Company must pay wages to 26 employees who were laid off without proper notice

Two significant wildfires burning in southeastern B.C.

More than 20 fires were burning in the Southeast Fire Centre as of Saturday afternoon

Volunteers provide the glue that keeps BC Games moving

The 2018 Cowichan Summer Games had more than 2,300 volunteers on hand across Vancouver Island

No Name brand chicken nuggets recalled due to possible salmonella

Canadian Food Inspection Agency says multiple illnesses reported in B.C., Alberta and Ontario

Lodeiro scores twice to help Sounders beat Whitecaps 2-0

Seattle’s Nicolas Lodeiro opened the scoring in the fifth minute when he converted a penalty kick

Race walker breaks 18-year-old BC Games record

Zone 6 athlete Olivia Lundman crossed finish line with ease, to loud cheers in Cowichan

Most Read