Volunteering will change your view

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Kristina Wyman's picture
Kait Bouthillette

The very first thing I got involved in my first year at Assumption, was the Reach Out Center. I distinctly remember sitting at the information night and perking up when one of the Service Directors introduced Rainbow Preschool. As the go-to babysitter in my family, I knew that I enjoyed working with young children. Rainbow Preschool is one facet of Rainbow Child Development Center, a non-profit organization that aims to provide support and services for at-risk children and their families. The preschool consists of about 70 children ages three to five years-old which are split up into four different classrooms.

Every Friday afternoon, I would go to the preschool with a fellow volunteer and help the teachers in a number of different ways, whether that meant cleaning up cots after nap time or giving children one-on-one attention. I was immediately hooked. The children at Rainbow Preschool stole my heart from my very first day. Their brightness, personalities, and sense of humor continually amazed me week after week. The other volunteer and I would spend our entire car ride back to Assumption exchanging funny stories about what had occurred in our classrooms that afternoon, and by the middle of the semester my friends at school knew each of the children I interacted with by name from all of the stories I would share.

I continued to volunteer at Rainbow Preschool throughout my first and sophomore years. At the end of my sophomore year, having gained confidence, skill and passion from my volunteer experiences, I decided to apply to be a Service Director. I was selected and given another program, and while I was sad to leave my preschoolers, I had a wonderful experience volunteering at a different site during my junior year. This fall, I became the Service Director of Rainbow Preschool, and have thoroughly enjoyed “coming home” to the wonderful site and people that sparked my passion for helping others.

As a senior preparing for the dreaded “G” word and getting ready to leave Assumption, there has been something about returning to the site in which I started volunteering. My volunteer experiences at Rainbow Preschool taught me so much about my own skills and passions, social justice and the world around me. It has taught me that the most amazing connections can be made simply be re-reading the same book over and over (and over and over and over) again to a child or by sharing a silly knock-knock joke.

Volunteering at Rainbow taught me responsibility, commitment, the importance of being a good role model, the joy of helping others and has shown me where my passions lie. The skills and lessons have only been amplified by taking on a leadership role as a Service Director. This first volunteer experience led me to a Community Service Learning minor, a passion for educational equality and to pursue other service opportunities such as SEND trips.

I encourage anyone who is thinking about volunteering with any of our wonderful programs to jump in and go for it; immerse yourself in your service and you will be deeply rewarded. I also encourage anyone who enjoys volunteering through the ROCto consider taking the next step and apply to be a Service Director.

My experience at Assumption would not have been nearly as fulfilling had I not gotten involved with the ROC. Rainbow Preschool will always hold a special place in my heart, and I can honestly say that the children and teachers at Rainbow Preschool are among the list of people whom it will be hard to say goodbye to come may.

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