Note: As one of the options for the culminating reflection in my Enhancing Youth Literacy Capstone at Portland State University, students can create a plan for continued civic engagement. Some of my students are willing to share this wonderful work. I will be posting some of these plans as they are submitted.
While volunteering as a part of this class, I found myself wanting to help kids more in ways other than doing after school programs and helping in classrooms. I keep going back to teaching in some form or another. I truly enjoy teaching and watching and helping children learn. I connected with a past classmate, named Nicole as well, and she had volunteered at Doernbecher’s children’s hospital in Portland. She told me that she was like a teacher/teaching assistant to children in the intensive care unit. These kids were too sick to go to school but obviously still need to learn. She mentioned that they were incredibly eager to learn and wanted to do work because they were somewhat bored. I felt immediately that that was my calling and that I needed to go out and apply.
I will be helping children of the community of Portland and everywhere the children come from to be at the hospital. I also will be helping the families of the children that are sick have some peace of mind to know that their children are still learning and won’t have to repeat school, which would be a huge concern if I was a parent. I plan to work for either 3 or 6 months depending on whether or not I get a full time job after I graduate. I would love to continue volunteering after I get a job, but it would be really hard to coordinate both. The hospital requires a minimum of a 6 month commitment so we shall see. “Pick battles big enough to matter, small enough to win.” — Jonathan Kozol This quote means a lot to me and in my future plans as a volunteer. I sometimes find myself wondering how just one person can make a difference, but if I start helping one child and that makes them happy for one day, even a few hours then that is all that matters.
How do you feel after making this plan? How does this reflect your overall learning in this course?
- This quote sums up how I feel about volunteering at Doernbecher’s children hospital. The time doesn’t have to be extraordinary to help someone – you just have to be willing to step out of your comfort zone and make a difference in someone’s life. “Do not wait for extraordinary circumstances to do good; try to use ordinary situations.” — Jean Paul Richter