Service Site: John XXIII Educational Center, Racine, WI
College: Manhattan College
What do you do?
I am a high school tutor (mainly in the areas of English, history, essay writing and psychology) and middle school outreach group leader. Outreach is essentially support groups for middle school students that focus on topics that the students may need, such as how to deal with bullying or ways to raise self confidence.
Why did you choose to become a Lasallian Volunteer?
I chose to become a Lasallian Volunteer because I needed to take some time off between graduating college and going to graduate school. I didn’t want to spend my year off working at a job just to make money, I wanted to spend my year doing something meaningful with my time that I knew would not only help me grow but help others grow as well. I also appreciated that Lasallian Volunteers placed their volunteers at sites and communities in which the individual’s talents and gifts would be needed. I knew that if I became a Lasallian Volunteer, I would be placed at a site that would utilize my talents to my best ability.
Working at John XXIII has not only utilized my talents but has helped me strengthen my areas of challenge as well. Many of my hopes for this program have been realized, and I have enjoyed the work I’ve been doing with the adolescents and children that I work with.
Give an example of a time when you knew you were making a difference.
During one of my outreach groups for students that needed more self-confidence and were dealing with hard family issues at home, my students said that they wanted me to come and have sessions with them every day. They also said that this group was their favorite part of the week. I was touched to hear that they were getting something positive out of this group, especially since they may not get anything positive at home.
Give an example of when your hard work with your students paid off.
Most of my hard work with my students has paid off in small, meaningful ways. I notice it when, after editing a students paper, they begin to improve their writing on other papers without as much assistance from me as before. Another way my hard work pays off is seeing students have an enjoyable time at events that I help set up and facilitate. Most of all, I see my hard work paying off when the relationships I have with my students grow throughout the time I spend with them. If they are able to come to me about problems other than work, I know that they not only trust my help with their homework but trust that I can provide some sort of help with other life problems as well.
What would you say to a friend from home who questioned why you chose to live with Brothers?
I chose to live with the Brothers because I wanted an opportunity to live with a group of people I never would have had the opportunity to live with otherwise.
Why would you recommend the LV program to a college senior considering volunteering?
I would recommend the LV program because the LV program cares for all areas of your life, not just the service aspect. The LV program recognizes that each volunteer has different skills that they can offer to the population they serve, and the program makes sure to place you in a site that can let that skill set grow and shine.
Why would you recommend a contribution to the LV Program from a prospective donor?
Through a donation, Lasallian Volunteers continue to educate future generations, and future generations can flourish and grow while living in homes or areas that may not have promoted their growth. Lasallian Volunteers not only promotes the growth of the students and clients, but of the volunteers giving their year as well.
How would you like to continue your involvement with the Lasallian family after your time with the Lasallian Volunteers?
After my time with Lasallian Volunteers, I would enjoy becoming a mentor and being a presence in volunteers’ lives who may need guidance or advice. I would also enjoy staying up to date with the program and look forward to seeing how it continues to flourish over the next few years