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How One D2Ler Turns Her Love of Film Into Community Action  

Intro:

At D2L, we believe education has the power to change the world. As a mission-driven company, we need engaged and mission-driven people. Our philanthropy program is a key part of making that happen. Through our volunteerism pillar, we encourage our employees and give them opportunities to take part in the volunteerism initiatives that are the most meaningful to them. Instructional designer Amanda Piche is a fantastic example of this.  
 

Amanda has been an instructional designer with Learning Services for almost three years. One of her favorite things about working at D2L is knowing she can positively impact the learning experiences of others through her work.  

Outside of work, Amanda enjoys taking improv and pilates classes, attending local concerts and festivals, and watching films. Amanda has turned her love of cinema into a positive action for her community through volunteerism. She is a regular user of D2L’s Volunteer Time Off (VTO) program, so we sat down with Amanda to learn more about the work she has been doing.

How you have been using your VTO Days?

Since I joined D2L in 2021, I’ve used my VTO Days to volunteer each September for the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) as a Volunteer Captain. Volunteer Captains liaise between the Volunteer Office, TIFF staff and volunteers during the festival. TIFF requires volunteers to take on various roles, from ushering theatres to scanning passes to providing attendees with information. As a Volunteer Captain, I ensure volunteers are signed in and out, brief them on their roles and responsibilities, manage breaks and offer other support as needed. I work with TIFF staff to assign volunteers to their specific posts. I also record and pass on important information to the Volunteer Office about how a shift went, like attendance or instances of exceptional volunteer behavior. 

What inspired you to get involved with TIFF?

I have volunteered with TIFF every year since 2012 (except for 2020 and 2021). Back in 2012, I wanted to find a way to get involved in my community. As a film lover, TIFF caught my attention. I was interested in playing a small role in supporting this iconic event that brought the best of cinema to the city. I admired that TIFF was very accessible to the public, allowing anyone to watch films from all around the world. Film can expose us to new perspectives and change the way we see the world for the better, so it was exciting to know I could help facilitate this for audiences. 

Can you share a memorable moment or experience from your volunteer work that had a significant impact on you?

I always treasure the discussions I’ve had with fellow volunteers about the festival, such as what movies they had seen or planned to see. It’s always fun to see others light up when they begin discussing movies. The enthusiasm is infectious.   

How has your volunteer experience influenced your growth and development? 

Volunteering as a Volunteer Captain has helped me grow as a leader. I’ve become more comfortable with managing people, ensuring they have the support they need to do their work successfully, and problem-solving quickly in fast-paced environments. This has certainly come in handy in my current role when leading projects and mentoring new team members.  

Why is it important to you that D2L offers VTO?  

Volunteering, to me, is an incredibly meaningful act that one can perform. Through volunteering, one can not only make a difference in their community, but they can acquire new skills or hone existing ones, feel a sense of connectedness to their community, and make new friendships, all while having fun. Amidst the hustle and bustle of life, it’s sometimes difficult to carve out time to volunteer. For D2L to offer VTO demonstrates their commitment to social responsibility and their desire for their employees to reap the benefits of volunteering their time for a cause that is meaningful to them.  

Do you have any advice for anyone who wants to get involved in volunteering?  

Think about your interests and any skills you’d like to develop, and based on this, begin researching local organizations. See what opportunities that are out there align with your interests and the experiences you’d like to have.    

If you’d like to join a mission-driven organization that brings together people, technology, and passion to drive positive change in the world, check out our open roles.  

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Table of Contents
  1. Intro:
  2. How you have been using your VTO Days?
  3. What inspired you to get involved with TIFF?
  4. Can you share a memorable moment or experience from your volunteer work that had a significant impact on you?
  5. How has your volunteer experience influenced your growth and development? 
  6. Why is it important to you that D2L offers VTO?  
  7. Do you have any advice for anyone who wants to get involved in volunteering?