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Learning Center Experience
Volunteer Week 2013 will be celebrated April 21–27. Sponsored by Points of Light, National Volunteer Week was established
in 1974 and has grown tremendously each subsequent year, with thousands of
volunteer projects and special events scheduled throughout the week.
week is about inspiring, recognizing, and encouraging people to seek out ways
to get involved and find volunteer work that can help better their community. The
College of Public Service would
like to recognize students who have contributed their time as volunteers and
continue to be leaders in the field of public service.
Learn more about Points of Light and getting involved with National Volunteer Week in this month’s Center for Public Service nonprofit spotlight.
Volunteer Agency: icoulldbe.org
What is your role at this agency?
My role in this agency is
to be a mentor for the high school students.
I assist them with the program they decide to accomplish and focus on career
choices, college, homework, management skills, or anything else they are
worried about. I also give my mentees
positive feedback to encourage them to stay in school and find different
methods of completing homework. I keep
in touch with the teachers in case there is anything preventing the student from
achieving their goals.
Why have you chosen to do this volunteer work?
I remember feeling
overwhelmed when it came to school. That overwhelming feeling caused me to drop
out, eventually returning to earn my GED.
I want to be an encouragement to these children to stay in school and
help them overcome that overwhelming feeling they get.
Bethany Salem Fire Department and Relay for Life
I am a firefighter/emergency
medical technician (EMT), certified in CPR and first aid, and have obtained
several fire class certifications.
I decided a long time ago I
would remain a volunteer until I reached my goals of becoming a fire/ arson investigator
and a paramedic. I talked to my Granddad a lot growing up, and he always taught
me to help others. That’s what I do. I love the interaction with the community.
Helping others and doing all you can to make a person smile and have a better
day is what I do. I enjoy the passion behind this. I have been volunteering
since 2004 as a firefighter.
Volunteer organization: Kaplan University College of Social and Behavioral Sciences Mentor
you chosen to become a mentor?
how hard it was for me to return back to school as an adult. I had a hard time
at first with time management and keeping a schedule. It took two semesters for
me to really understand how I was going to manage everything and I needed to
figure out what worked best for me, my family, and work commitments. I
know if the mentor program had been
available to me when I started, I would have loved for someone to listen and provide suggestions and guidance to me. I
signed up to become a mentor because I knew how I felt when I first started
with my criminal justice program. I was scared, overwhelmed, and excited all at the same time.
It was hard at times for me to figure it out all on my own. Even though I knew
what I wanted to study, I didn't know how to get there. I had to learn how to
navigate the system, speak to my student advisors, and learn what student
resources were available to me. I had a hard time with American Psychological
Association (APA) formatting, but I was able to get tutoring through the paper review
service. I also used the Math Center tutoring lab when I took that class. It
helped so much. I was able to maintain the grade point average goal I had set
for myself and I found myself really excited to learn.
I have made many good friends in class that
have been so supportive and have reached out to me as well. Sometimes it's hard
to look at something to find a solution, especially when you’re so close to the
problem. It's always nice when others can see something from a different angle
and think of alternate ways to approach a situation that perhaps you would have
never thought of. I find it great to have so many people to interact with. It's
made going to school online feel like a college campus environment. Everyone
here is willing to help and that's what drew me to Kaplan University when I was
deciding on going back to school. They not only offered suggestions, but guided
me along the process. This has really helped inspire me to succeed. I'm
here to offer a student friendship and act as another resource to help students
succeed with their personal goals while in school at Kaplan
University. I thank you for
giving me the opportunity to give back. I feel that so
many people have helped me here that I just want to pay it forward. I have had the chance to assist other adult learners
like myself and it has made this journey so worthwhile. It feels good knowing
that I was able to participate in another student’s successes.
As a CASA volunteer, there is a great deal of time
spent getting to know the children, what their needs and wants are, and
providing them with someone they can trust to be there for them. When working with a child or children,
extensive time is spent interviewing parents, relatives, and teachers, along
with all judges, attorneys, and others involved in the process of determining
what is the best home and environment for them to grow in and be safe.
Why have you chosen
to do this volunteer work?
I started volunteering at CASA because I
believes there is a great need for someone to focus on a child throughout the
process of determining where they can safely live and grow up to be successful
adults. By volunteering, I have a new outlook on abused children. I previously
had no idea the number of abused children was so high. Volunteering offers me a
chance to help a child grow up in a safe, loving home. It has always been in my
nature to try and help people find an easier path, and volunteering with CASA
provides me with a way to do that in a way that helps a greater number of
Volunteer Agency: The Teddy Bear Foundation for Foster Children
I established the Teddy
Bear Foundation for Foster Children in November of 1990 to help improve the
quality of life for foster children. We do this in so many ways. Throughout the
holiday season we collect gifts for foster children. We have been successful in
raising funds to allow children to get involved in community based programs,
many of which foster parents and group homes cannot afford to do so. We’ve also
been helpful obtaining dresses for young ladies who want to attend their prom
and getting free tuxedo rentals for young men.
I am very proud of my foundation. I do not accept any salary to run it;
the foundation is run 100 percent by volunteers. We’ve been doing this for over
20 years and plan to continue to do so. It is my dream that someday the Teddy
Bear Foundation will be able to assist foster children all over the world.
I grew up as a foster child
in Massachusetts from the time I was 6 years old until my 18th birthday. I felt
something needed to be done to help foster children. There weren’t any programs
when I began the Teddy Bear Foundation that directly assisted foster children,
so I created one.
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