Nadia Edrinal


Bachelor of Science, Psychology, 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.

I did my internship with the Spruce Avenue Community League (SACL). The SACL has facilitated the growth of the Spruce Avenue community and the surrounding area for more than 70 years. They have done this by speaking on behalf of the community to impact important civil decisions that will make Edmonton the city it is today. Today, the SACL has made hockey accessible to underprivileged children and they have established partnerships with surrounding schools so students can integrate the sport into their school life. They also host many events and fundraisers to bring community members together. These are all in line with their Mission of bringing people together and supporting each other by sharing skills and information. I have been given the privilege of being part of the SACL board for the 2022-2023 school year as the intern in charge of initiating the creation of their Policy and Procedures handbook. 

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

As part of my project, I was put in charge of starting the creation of the league’s Policy and Procedures Handbook. Even though I could not finish the whole handbook within the 20 hours project limit, I believe I was able to kickstart a project that will serve the board for decades to come. The handbook was created to help enforce bylaws, make formal processes and procedures more accessible to board members, and ultimately promote transparency with community members to aid their understanding of the SACL’s purpose and mission. The league also decided to rename their rink after a beloved community member that helped revitalize it. I was in charge of covering the story for the local newspaper. I believe that publicity like this helps to acknowledge the great and noble job that the league has been doing and I hope that it will keep them flourishing throughout the years. 

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

What stands out to me as a key learning moment was when I got exposed to different social issues that I would not have had a full understanding of without this internship. My mentor, Verna Stainthorp, has been a great teacher. She took me around the SACL’s jurisdiction and highlighted problems such as youth homelessness, public drug usage problems, and lack of affordable housing. However, Verna also showed how different community leagues have come together and put in the work to make the city of Edmonton a safe, friendly, and connected community (as written in the SACL’s Vision statement). An example of this is the revival of 118th street to deter crimes and,  in turn, give local businesses a chance to flourish. This exposure has taught me the importance of volunteerism and gave me hope for the future of our city as I saw how dedicated the volunteer board members were in my eight months of involvement. 

Would you recommend this program to UofA students and why?

I would absolutely recommend this program to UofA students. I was able to meet the most interesting and compassionate individuals who cared a lot for our city. I know I will stay in touch with the amazing people on my board. As a pre-law student, the internship also helped me put societal issues in perspective. I truly believe that the knowledge I have gained will guide me throughout my career. On top of this, learning how a board functions has helped me enhance my professionalism and efficient planning. Finally, I always just encourage volunteerism! You will be surprised how fulfilling it is to be involved and maybe even find a new passion.