Community Service Coordinator
TO ALL MAGGIE WALKER STUDENTS AND THEIR FAMILIES WHO ARE INSPIRED TO GIVE BACK TO OUR COMMUNITY AND BEYOND!
I would like to take a moment to recognize all Maggie Walker students who have given so generously of their time and energies this past summer. I wish all of you could be personally recognized on our community service website. Almost 2,000 community service forms were submitted in September but, more importantly, the amount of hours and the type of volunteer activities in which students participated is astounding. The personal reflections demonstrate a sincere desire to give back to the community, both near and far, taking some of our students from Richmond and the surrounding area to North Carolina, New York, Honduras, and India. Our namesake, Maggie Walker, would be so proud of the legacy you are creating. Keep up the great work and remember: "Life's most persistent and urgent question is, what are you doing for others?" Martin Luther King, Jr.
Community Service Coordinator
Grace Locke participated in a mission trip to Honduras through St. James's Episcopal Church. Her volunteer work involved working with girls at the Ministerios Nuestras Pequenas Rosas, a home for girls who were victims of abject poverty, abandonment, or abuse. Grace wrote that she wanted to volunteer for this opportunity because she "loves to speak Spanish, and wanted to experience Latin American culture while still making a difference in someone's life." The Home is nestled in the impoverished city of San Pedro Sula (often called "the murder capital of the world.") On the drive from the airport, Grace witnessed extreme poverty -- "we passed families living under scraps of metal on the side of the road, children holding out their hands for food, and men in camo with machine guns." No doubt this was both a rewarding and challenging volunteer activity, Grace -- congrats for making a difference in the lives of some very needy young girls.
Ryan Kaplan volunteered for two weeks as a camp counselor at a robotics camp through the Center for Creative Arts. He has volunteered at this camp for several years, and specifically helped set up and design the challenges this year. He was also assigned to teach a group of campers and was responsible for helping them build their robot and program it. Ryan enjoyed working with the kids and stated that he learned "there is a lot of interest in STEM and that everyone is capable of learning. However, each child has their own learning style...and this can be challenging to a teacher." Great job, Ryan!
Lydia Galvin took the opportunity to participate in a mission trip to New Orleans through St. Paul's Church. She spent the week working with underprivileged youth on music, art, math, fitness and health. Lydia enjoyed working with these kids and found them to be so accepting. This experience gave her the opportunity to see how "simply giving kids good role models and opportunities can change their life plans and their view of how the world works." The Director of Youth Formation commented that Lydia was "very committed to serving the kids." Congrats, Lydia, on a job well done!
Ginny Fielding took the opportunity to volunteer while away for part of the summer. During her time in New York, she volunteered at the Canastota Public Library helping to shelve books, organizing LEGOs, cleaning, gardening, photocopying, setting up for library programs and events, and a whole host of other activities. Ginny wrote that she believes "libraries are a fundamental unit in the community. They don't just hold books -- they hold an ocean of information and connection, whether it be a fascinating tale of wild adventure or a census from the 1800's." It is for those reasons, and more, that she wanted to volunteer at this public library. The Director of Library commented on Ginny's community service form that "Ginny is a very organized, neat and conscientious worker. She is polite, friendly, and thorough; and we enjoyed having her as a volunteer at our Library this summer!" Thanks for your hard work, Ginny!
Margaret Earnest volunteered for some hard work at Pocahontas State Park. Margaret worked to clear trails in the park so that bikers, hikers, and horseback riders could enjoy the area without overgrown vegetation blocking their path. Margaret wrote that she volunteered for this particular activity because she "used to run cross-country on the trails" and wanted to give something back. She also enjoyed the idea of working outside. The volunteer supervisor noted that "Margaret only required minimal supervision and her performance in all aspects of this job was excellent." Thanks for helping to keep Pocahontas State Park a beautiful place to enjoy nature, Margaret!.
Derek Chen donated 36 hours of time at the Lewis Ginter Botanical Gardens to assist with harvesting, weeding, and mulching in the Community Kitchen Garden. He decided to volunteer for this activity because he likes connecting with nature while at the same time helping others who are less fortunate. The Community Kitchen Garden grows fruits and vegetables for those in need. The Youth Volunteer Program Developer wrote that Derek has a "great work ethic" and is an "industrious person."
This past summer (2015), Katelynn Bortz had the opportunity to volunteer with the Mission of Mercy program through the Virginia Dental Association Foundation. Katelynn traveled to Wise County, along with a team of professionals and other volunteers, to provide dental care for individuals in need. Katelynn commented that, with each you that she goes on this trip, she gains an "understanding of how desperately many people here in Virginia need health care and are unable to receive it." Programs such as Mission of Mercy provide that care. She also indicated that her "favorite part about going to Wise County every year is recognizing a patient that she helped treat in previous years." Great job, Katelynn!
Both Mikaela Benway and Kaitlin McCullough both donated considerable time to the Eco Adventure Camp during July. The site coordinator stated that "Mikaela and Kaity were both enthusiastic and helpful" in leading, supporting, and encouraging the middle school youth who attended the camp. The summer camp is offered through the Mary and Francis Youth Center at VCU. "Discovery is a fun, challenging and creative summer program offering a variety of in-depth experiences in science, technology, engineering, arts and health sciences while experiencing a college setting. Each full-day, weeklong camp is designed to challenge rising 6th through 8th graders to inquire and create as they investigate the world around them. Classes are taught by VCU faculty members, university students and local professionals in university classrooms and laboratories on VCU’s Monroe Park and Medical Campuses." Congratulations Mikaela and Kaitlin...such a wonderful way to give back to the community!
Esosa volunteered for 45 hours at the JEB Stuart Elementary School Summer Enrichment Program by assisting teachers in the the classrooms and working with students on technology skills. Esosa enjoyed working everyday for 2 weeks and felt it was important for students to learn develop strong technology skills given the direction of our society. The site supervisor commented that "Esosa is very driven and conscientious. She requires very little supervision. Additionally, she is very familiar with the population of students and was able to share personal experiences with them." Keep up the good work, Esosa!