Volunteer and Educator, Fred Haiderzada, Takes the Helm in 2024
Big Brothers of Greater Vancouver (BBGV) welcomed a new Board Chair, Fred Haiderzada, for the first time in more than a decade, in January.
Haiderzada, a volunteer Big Brother, seven-year sitting board member and life-long educator, now takes the reins of the non-profit near and dear to his heart.
“I am truly excited to take on the role of Board Chair at Big Brothers of Greater Vancouver. My vision for the future involves fostering even stronger community engagement, expanding our volunteer base and implementing innovative programs to ensure that every child in our region has access to the support they need to thrive,” he said.
“We are thrilled to have Fred leading our board of directors,” Valerie Lambert, BBGV Executive Director, said.
“His proactive approach, leading from the front of the organization as an active volunteer and long-time board member, will no doubt help us reach our goal to serve more than 1,000 children and youth each year throughout our region.”
The issue at the forefront of the organization is the ongoing volunteer shortage and reopening family program intake in Surrey.
Since April of 2022, the charity has had to stop accepting new children into their Surrey Big Brothers Community Program due to a lack of volunteers. The organization needs 30 volunteers immediately to reopen new family intake. Youth currently in the Community Program waitpool can expect to be there for more than two years before being paired with a volunteer.
Haiderzada has been an active volunteer in the Surrey Community Program for the past six years.
“Surrey holds a special place in my heart and addressing the volunteer shortage in this community is a top priority. My goal is to rally support, increase awareness and recruit dedicated volunteers so we can reopen the doors of opportunity for families in Surrey. Together, we can make a lasting impact on the lives of the children who are eagerly waiting for a mentor,” he said.
The organization’s mission, “empowering youth to reach their full potential through mentorship,” is something that first spoke to Haiderzada all the way back in his adolescent years when he booked his first clothing donation for his family.
“Mentoring is a transformative experience, both for the mentor and the mentee. As an immigrant who arrived in Canada as a teenager, I understand the profound impact that guidance and support can have on one’s life. My high school teachers, university professors and mentors played a pivotal role in shaping my professional and educational journey. Now, as Board Chair at Big Brothers of Greater Vancouver, I feel a deep sense of obligation to give back to the community, especially to the youth who will be the future leaders. I believe in the power of mentorship to unlock the full potential of every child in our community,” he said.
Haiderzada takes over from former board chair, Tony Miles, who served the organization in various capacities since 2010.
You can see a full list of the 2024 BBGV board of directors online.