Amy Lamparelli: Not Just a Volunteer

Amy Lamparelli, 11-13, Holy Cross, Kansas City, MO & De La Salle Blackfeet, Browning, MT

My two years with the Lasallian Volunteers have brought me to Kansas City, MO and to Browning MT, teaching first grade and special education. I’ve worn many different hats and in many ways, I’ve come to understand that when someone hears the word “volunteer” they really think “Oh, they can do everything!” At times I am welcomed by the challenge, readily saying “Bring it on!” Where as other times after I’ve said “bring it on!” too many times I really want to shout, “Wait, no! No I can’t do everything, I’m drowning.”

At times, being called a volunteer can be a struggle. Like the time on a Monday morning during my first class when 20 minutes had gone by and one of my students was refusing to write, and out of frustration I hear, “It doesn’t matter you are just a volunteer.” I could tell he was frustrated and upset, but those words still hurt.  Sometimes, when trying to explain to my family and friends that I can’t come home or can’t talk right now because I have work, the words out of frustration come out again, “What does it matter, you’re just a volunteer, they don’t need you.” Wrong, because I am a volunteer, those whom I serve need me the most.

I am not just a volunteer. They don’t get to see the behind the scene perspective that I get to see. They don’t get to see all the reasons I do what I do. They don’t get to see why I get excited about each and every little victory.

Not just a volunteer

I am not just a volunteer

I am a teacher, not only do I teach math, reading, and writing, but I get to teach life lessons

I am a school counselor, I have the privilege of students sharing with me about their problems and what is going on in their lives

I am a cook, feeding their bodies as well as their brains

I am not just a volunteer

I am a megaphone for voices of those students who need to be heard

I am an ear for when a student trusts me enough to let me listen

I am a friend for student who sometimes just needs someone to be on their side

I am not just a volunteer

I am a referee, setting scores on the court and in the classroom

I am a school nurse, bandaging up cuts, bumps, bruises and hurt egos from the most recent basketball game

I am stable, someone in my students life who they know they can go to for support whether that be in school or during a game of tag acting as “home base”

I am not just a volunteer

I am fixer, I fix clothing, games, relationships, conflicts and glasses

I am cheerleader, I jump up and down in victory when my students succeed

 I am a comedian, because sometimes in the middle of a lesson my students and I just need laugh

I am a student, learning from whom I teach

I am a Lasallian Volunteer

Amy Lamparelli, 11-13, Holy Cross Catholic School, Kansas City, MO & De La Salle Blackfeet School, Browning, MT

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