Husky Volunteer Team Fall 2012: “An Experience I’ll Never Forget”
I joined Husky Volunteer Team this past fall semester, and it’s an experience that I’ll never forget! I have always done volunteer work for my sorority, but I was looking for another way to get involved when my roommate told me about this program called Husky Volunteer Team. It runs for a full semester and you volunteer at the same organization once a week for a couple of hours. I thought I would give it a try because it seemed like a great way to get involved in the community without too much of a time commitment.
HVT Friday volunteers outside of JFK Elementary
I was placed at JFK Elementary School, in Jamaica Plain, on Fridays from 12-3pm with two other volunteers. Volunteers in HVT are always placed in groups of 3 or more, so it’s a great way to meet new people. It’s also nice to have people to travel to the sessions with.
The first day was only an orientation and tour of the school, but I knew right away that I would love volunteering at JFK. The kids were all so bubbly and cute! As we walked through the school, all of the kids were eager to meet us and talk to us, which really shows how much the volunteers mean to them. They all came up to us and asked us our names and begged us to stay. We promised we would be back the following week!
The next week we started the actual volunteering. We were each placed in a classroom to help out individual teachers with their students. My first day of volunteering was my most memorable, because I met a timid second grader named Damien. Most of the kids are very outgoing, but Damien was the complete opposite. He was very shy, but I knew he really wanted to talk to me. I spent some time with him, and he eventually opened up to me. (I couldn’t get him to stop talking by the end!) He gave me an invitation to his birthday party (pictured below) that I’ve kept to remind myself of that day. I love volunteering, but it truly means the most when you can see your affect on an individual, especially a child.
We volunteer in the same classes for the whole semester, so we really get to know the kids and see the difference we make. The kids expect and hope for us to come every week, and it shows how much we mean to them!
Any student can volunteer at JFK, even if you aren’t an education or early childhood education major. I’m a business major, and it was still a perfect fit for me. I love that the Husky Volunteer Team program gave me this opportunity, and I highly recommend it to anyone who wants to get involved!
-Denise Lucacio, Middler
D’Amore-McKim School of Business