Explore. Dream. Discover.
Last year, Mark Short began volunteering with the Adaptive Sailing Association (DSA) and was recently hired as one of their sailing staff for the 2021 season. It only takes a short chat with him to understand why he is such a valued member of our volunteering team.
As a long-time sailor and regular boat racer, Mark explained that he was drawn to ASABC because it coincides with his future goals and the path he wants to take in university, “I’ve always been passionate about sailing and medication.” He elaborated on this by pointing out that rigging boats to suit people’s accessibility needs allows him to achieve unique biomedical engineering experience, which will help him in his academic and professional endeavors.
Always eager to develop and share new skills, Mark said his favourite thing about the ASA is being able to talk to all the clients. “It’s such a two-way street in terms of learning. You each learn things from each other. There are a lot of cool people there.” He mentioned that one person who particularly inspired him was a woman he met who “had these white runners that she wore [with] all these different names of almost every country in the world written in sharpie.” For a long time he thought they were just for fashion, but eventually his curiosity led him to ask her about the shoes. He learned that “she had previously been a photographer for Canon who had been to all of the countries written on her shoes and had done these huge photoshoots.” He reflected on this moment and shared that ASABC is unique because it allows for close connections like this.
Although Mark has already far exceeded his required high school volunteer hours, he mentioned that ASABC is “definitely a program where you could fulfill your volunteer hours”, further adding that “the flexible schedule allowed me to pursue all of the things I wanted to get done that summer.”
Mark offered words of advice for other youth who are interested in volunteering but don’t know where to start, stating that “It can seem really daunting going to a new place and working with adults, but the Adaptive Sailing Association has one of the most supportive groups of people you will ever meet!”
Mark also shared his personal feelings and passion, “I appreciate the challenge of being out on the water, facing and working with our planet’s natural elements. In our current society we can find ourselves sheltered from nature, but on the water, one has the opportunity to learn from it. I am very comfortable on the water. In fact, one of my favourite things is to go out in huge summertime waves. During my sailing experiences, I have also encountered situations that require a level of calm. One situation was avoiding a whale that breached directly in front of my boat. Being comfortable boating is a valuable attribute for a sailing coach to have because they often have to look after people who aren’t very comfortable in rough water.”
This quote from Mark Twain fits his personality and passion really well: “Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbour. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” “I love what I do and I love working with all of the people at ASA,” Mark said. We love having you too Mark! Thank you for being a part of our affiliated society. We are lucky to have you on our team.
For more information about volunteering, please contact Sheryl Newman, Volunteer Management Coordinator at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at (778) 945-8823.