Madeline Mayes


Bachelor of Arts, Political Science, 3rd year

Graduate of the Non-Profit Board Internship Program (2022-2023)

Describe your board/organization, its objectives, and your responsibilities during the NPBI internship.

My partner was Edmonton Youth Justice Committee Society a non-profit organization that gives youth and young adults in the criminal justice system a second chance using restorative justice to make the community whole again through open communication and reparations.

Can you describe your project and how you think it will benefit your board?

Through the NPBI program I worked alongside the EYJCS executive board, learning about board management while working on a project to improve board governance. My own project included working alongside board committees to create an accountable evaluation strategy for their ongoing outreach and policy goals this year that they identified from their Strategic Planning conversations.

What stands out for you as key learning moments as a result of volunteering on a board?

My biggest takeaway was learning board governance management skills while putting them into practice on my board, and getting the opportunity to learn about the organization’s values and purpose in the community. My organization worked a lot with the criminal justice system and youth and young adults looking to get a second chance through a restorative justice process, and it was a part of the justice system I never would have known existed before my board placement. I was able to take part in activities outside of what was required of me in my internship such as joining their strategic planning and taking part in some volunteer training to better learn about how their programs are run, which really benefited my experience and knowledge of the organization's work.

My experience has allowed me to learn a lot more about community organizations and board management, and inspired me to become further involved with the non-profit sector as a volunteer. There’s a lot of good work done in our city that I want to further discover and play a part in, especially where it comes to people needing a second chance because I was lucky to have a lot of support in my own life, so I can empathise with those who had the same problems as me but less of a network around them to give them success. As a Political Science student my goals are to work in government one day, and my time with EYJCS has taught me the importance of broadening my horizons and learning about different people and situations so that I can be a better Edmontonian and speak up on issues with knowledge and awareness behind my words.

Would you recommend this program to U of A students and why? 

Absolutely! Being part of the NPBI was a chance to learn from people in the professional sphere, learn skills that transfer to other areas of my life such as team building and proactive planning, and grow as a person. The program counts as a non-credit opportunity towards a CSL certificate, so it’s given me a boost towards completion, not to mention the work is great resume experience. 

Through my amazing mentor in the program, I’ve gotten to network with other people doing advocacy work in Edmonton, and I’m excited to continue to work with the board in my spare time. I found this experience really enriching as a student looking to be a better part of the Edmonton community, and I think everyone should give it a chance!