Service Site: La Salle High School, Yakima, WA
University: Manhattan College
What do you do?
I teach World History and Contemporary World Issues. I am also Yearbook Moderator and Assistant Baseball Coach.
Why did you choose to become a LV? Have your hopes about the Program been realized?
When applying to be a Lasallian Volunteer, I wanted to teach, to serve and to travel. Through the program, I have been able to do all of those things. I am a full time teacher, serving in Yakima, with students who have the capabilities to go far in the future, but some need a bit of extra motivation or a push in the right direction. I am hoping to leave them with more confidence in their own abilities, and have already seen success in several ways, such as higher grades, increased motivation, more participation in school activities, and more kindness to each other.
Which core value is the most important?
I believe that community is the most important core value because of the support that I receive from several different communities that I am a part of. My school community at La Salle is a privilege to work in because of the students and my fellow teachers. Rather than a group of individuals, the faculty works together to support each other and I always feel comfortable asking questions when I need help. The community that I live with supports me by cooking awesome dinners, offering advice on various situations and making me laugh after a tough day. The LV community supports me through friendship. I know that if I need help, one of the other LVs is just a phone call, a text, an email or a Facebook message away. Even though there are miles and time zones between us, we are all willing to help each other. The greater Lasallian community also supports me. From staff members to Brothers to LV Alums to Lasallian teachers, there are so many people with an interest in my service and the service of all the volunteers. I know that there are countless people that I can call in the future if I need help. Overall, the amount of people I have waiting to help me or catch me if I fall because I am an LV is a reassuring feeling, and is why I think that community is the most important core value.
A few years in the future, how will experiences with those served and with Brothers have changed me?
I am confident that my experiences as a volunteer will be priceless to me in the future. From a teaching perspective, I have learned so much from my colleagues and students that I can take with me in the future. From the Brothers and fellow volunteers, I have learned about faith and dedication. Having the faith that God will take care of me in the future and dedication to helping others through education will be an important gift to have in the years ahead. The experience of living in a different area of the country and seeing the challenges that are faces by others is something that I will carry with me and do my best to inform others about, in what ever path I choose to take. I will have changed because of my openness to serve others, and I know that I will do my best to accomplish that goal.
Why would I recommend the LV program to a college senior?
I would recommend the LV program without hesitation to anyone interested in volunteering. This is a rare opportunity to serve others in some of the areas of the country that need help the most. You will also be welcomed into the loving Lasallian family with open arms and you will meet some amazing people and great friends.
What would I say to a friend from home who questioned why I chose to live with the Brothers?
Living with the Brothers is a unique experience that cannot be found anywhere except for this program. I am able to relate to them and they are easy to get along with. Their experience in the world of education is a priceless asset to someone just starting in teaching. I have learned so much from them and their lifelong dedication to the purpose of educating the poor is inspiring.