One of Pictou County’s busiest volunteers is being provincially recognized in the upcoming volunteers’ celebration that is held annually in Halifax. Nina Davey has been named the Provincial Youth Volunteer of the Year.
“I found out a few weeks ago,” said Davey who added that she was excited about having been nominated for the award. Davey was nominated by a number of different members of the community including the Pictou United Church, the Children’s Wish Foundation and the Canadian Cancer Society.
Davey mentioned that when she was younger she used to volunteer for the Pictou Fisheries Museum and in the past has spent time volunteering at the Pictou Visitor Information Centre; and in recent years, after the passing of her friend Jeana English, she has been very involved in the Children’s Wish Foundation and the Canadian Cancer Society.
“Life is a special occasion, so I don’t save anything for tomorrow — it’s important to do what I can now,” said Davey in a letter about her volunteering. “Life is unpredictable and has no guarantees. I learned that on October 9, 2015 when my best friend died from a brain tumour… Cancer wasn’t something new to me when Jeana got sick. My dad was diagnosed with spinal tumours when I was five years old and I don’t remember what life was like before that.”
The death of her friend deeply impacted Davey and made her lose hope and wonder about her own purpose.
“Through volunteering, I was able to take the focus off my own problems and realize how important it is to have a healthy, happy life,” she said. “I always loved helping people but Jeana’s Girls really helped me focus off my problems with Jeana passing away.”
Davey said that when she found out she had been nominated she didn’t expect to win the award since the age range is 13 to 24 and previous winners were usually in their 20s. Davey is 15.
“When I found out I got it I was super shocked,” she smiled.
Some of the letters of support that were sent to nominate Davey showed her exemplary character and why she was nominated and chosen.
“In all my years of experience, some individuals stand out for their willingness to give back to the community and Nina is one of those people. She is well known for her community involvement, volunteering with church events, Me to We Club, IWK committee, McCulloch Museum and Genealogy Centre, the Pictou Visitors Centre as well as many school committees at her school,” said Donna Richard, co-ordinator for the Pictou County Chapter of Children’s Wish Foundation.
“It is evident through Nina’s volunteer work that hard work and commitment pays off. As a result, her impact is much bigger than she ever anticipated,” said Susan Kaiser-Mingo of the Canadian Cancer Society.
Along with volunteering, Davey also manages a 90s average in school at Pictou Academy and still has personal time and time to spend figure skating and competing as well as ballet dancing at the Ashlei Ballet school in Stellarton.
“But I always find time to volunteer,” she smiled.