Roland Riches cites his mom as his biggest inspiration in his life. “I’m a single parent kid, so growing up she was always there. She just taught me how to be a fighter. She’s everything to me. She always pushes me to be the best I can be,” he said. Roland is working to be the best he can be this summer at Habitat for Humanity Halton-Mississauga.
He is a Warehouse Assistant and Sales Representative in the Mississauga ReStore. “When the donations come from the truck to the warehouse, we basically take the donations, we look at what is good to be on the floor, like what we can sell to people, and then we price them and put them on the floor,” he explained. The latter portion of his title “basically means you’re representing the store,” he said. “You’re walking around, assisting anybody with whatever they need, helping them take stuff to the car, or from the car to the store. And helping out to make sure sales go well.”
“Some days I’m on the truck. We go to the house and pick up (the donor’s) stuff. It feels good to see how you take out a kitchen piece by piece and put it back together. The feeling you get from seeing people that are happy to donate stuff is another thing. It’s good to see that people actually care,” Roland said. He added that he enjoys working with his co-workers. “In the warehouse, I love the people I work with. They’re amazing,” he said.
Roland said that his goals with Habitat are to do the work that is given to him and gain new skills. “I’ve learned a lot of things, whether it’s fixing stuff or learning how to talk to people.”
“My goal is just to represent the store in the best way possible.”
Before he began working at Habitat, Roland already had a multitude of volunteer experiences under his belt. In addition to volunteering at his high school and church, he had over 120 hours at a children’s summer camp. He also volunteered with a community program called Nyce.
In the fall, Roland is going to Ryerson University to study medical physics. He wants to adapt to university life and then get a job, hoping to successfully balance school and work. After he graduates, he said that he wants to work for a few years and then open his own company. “I want to have my own charity (where) I help people that are in need in any way possible,” he said.
Drawing from his mother’s inspiration, Roland has “been a straight A student all throughout high school, everything.” He describes her as his backbone. And if his work at Habitat this summer is any indication, he is making his mother proud.