When people describe Alexander May, a few of the descriptors used are words like humble, mature and a superior leader. Alex began volunteering at HEROS in 2014 and at the time was our youngest volunteer in all of Canada. He started off as a volunteer/mentor, tying skates and setting up practices. Now, after over five years with HEROS, Alex is a program coordinator for our Surrey chapter.
Alex grew up playing hockey and a plethora of other sports. He found himself working as a skating instructor and was interested in a career as a police officer. The advice Alex received from current police officers on the best way to become a police officer was to engage in community volunteer work. Through a close friend’s dad, Alex was introduced to HEROS. Beginning as a volunteer/mentor, Alex fell in love with the initiatives of HEROS. Over the years his career ambitions may have changed but his passion for HEROS has never wavered, “I just got totally hooked on it.”
After two years as a volunteer/mentor for the Vancouver chapter, Alex was offered the position of Program Coordinator for the new HEROS Surrey chapter. Transitioning from being a volunteer/mentor to the program coordinator was no easy feat, “it was definitely hard. I had to speak in front of a group and run practices now.” The new leadership role was well worth it though, as HEROS not only gives to the kids but also affects the volunteers in a positive way as well. “These kids all have their own stories – it’s just incredible the stuff they’ve been through and it really just puts things into perspective. They’re all fighters.” He explains he feels “lucky” and “grateful” to be there for them. One of his favourite parts of being a Program Coordinator is seeing the players come out of their shells whether it be on the ice, making friends or just coming up to him and talking about their school day.
A lot of players at HEROS come from difficult personal situations, so each week when they come to practice Alex makes it a point to “always say hi to them and always have a talk.” Last season one of the players in Alex’s program came from a difficult home life just like that, “he was usually down at most HEROS practices and got down on himself a lot.” Alex decided to give him more responsibilities, whether that be bringing out the water bottles or taking out the pucks – just something to give him a “bigger role.” His response to that responsibility and sense of duty was so great that he won an award at the end of the season.
Alex began his journey with HEROS in pursuit of his dream of becoming a police officer and he has evolved into an inspirational community leader. Alex’s passion for HEROS make his contributions to the program irreplaceable. He helps create a place where kids can connect and “feel like they’re on a team, with a team environment with coaches – it makes a world’s difference.”