Volunteer Spotlight: Prem Vivek

Prem has been a lifelong volunteer and came across Literacy Rochester as soon as he moved to the Rochester area about a year ago with his wife and a three-year-old toddler. He was born and raised in India before moving to Toronto with his wife in 2011. He was previously employed in the financial services industry in Canada.

After attending a Literacy volunteer orientation session in December 2019, Prem started at the Fairport Library and has been instrumental in helping at least two of his clients find employment in his short stint and has been a helping hand to several others. He says, “All I think is how can I be resourceful in guiding people to achieve the best possible outcome while devoting your time”. If you are looking for help, you can find Prem at two of our sites, the Fairport Public library and the Lincoln Branch library.

Prem is currently a member of the City of Rochester’s Community Emergency Response Team. He is also a Digital volunteer for the Canadian Red Cross and supports them remotely. He does digital transcription work (volunteer) for the Smithsonian Institution and the Library of Congress when there is a commemorative campaign to transcribe historic documents. He says he has been an avid blood donor during his time in India and has donated blood on several occasions. Throughout his life, his inspiration for helping others was instilled in him by his mother. She always told him, “Focus on the good and build on it”.

While volunteering at the library, Prem has focused on helping his clients with a ‘realistic’ approach with their job search and created tailor-made resumes for his clients based on the specific job that they may be applying for. By realistic, he means that the client needs to have a clear understanding of the current trends in the job market, their soft and hard skills before even submitting a resume. His recommendation for his library client is, “Be willing to adapt and learn from past experiences.” 

Prem is currently a stay at home parent watching his three-year-old toddler ever since his wife found employment in Rochester. As a continuous learner, his most recent education includes a certificate in Public Relations Strategy, American Government, Poverty and Population, Public Policy etc.  He also says he loves to travel a lot, but on a budget. He believes knowledge is power and one must share it with others in order to progress.

Prem would like to share a quote from a contemporary Indian Mystic: ‘Volunteering means to become willing, or, in other words, to become an absolute YES to life.”

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