All Good Things Come to an End

In one sentence, huh?  My volunteer experience at McGregor reminded me of how important it is to help build up the world’s younger generations by spending time teaching them. 

I had an awesome time at McGregor!  The kids were so wonderful and Mrs. Sukany was incredibly flexible.  Friday was my last day there and I had a hard time leaving.  I know that we did a lot of extremely meaningful work both with the kids directly and “behind-the-scene” making copies and workbooks. 

I am so thankful for Summit.  I had just switched majors this past fall from Education to PR and Ad.  Although I knew that education wasn’t for me, I also knew that the American school system was in desperate need of new teachers.  Thanks to my time at McGregor, I know that I can still help kids in the school system without having to take on the emotional burden of being a classroom teacher.  Without Summit, I might have spent my time flip-flopping between majors, trying to convince myself that what I had decided was right for me.

Aside from what I learned during my actual volunteering, living in Summit was quite the experience. I learned that some people come from a more privileged place, and that because of their wealth, don’t appreciate what they have.  I also learned that you can’t always assume that your friends will respect your possessions.  But, even with all of the mishaps, our house was a great place and I am walking away with two fantastic friends. 

Andrew, thanks for everything.  Summit might just be the best thing that is happening on Drury’s campus.


Last Blog Ever!

This year has been such a great experience for me! I’m so grateful that I got the chance to live in summit, as well as getting the chance to volunteer at a wonderful place.  I really feel like I was able to make an impact on the students I worked with, and they certainly made an impact on me.

I learned so much from working with Mrs. Sukany in the ELL classroom.  I plan to be an elementary teacher when I graduate, and working with her has taught me a lot about classroom management and about fun learning actvities to do with my class. I’ve also thought about getting my certification to become an ELL teacher.

Our last month volunteering just solidified what a great month it has been. This month we continued to volunteer and we also handed out the treats that we bought for the students.  They were so excited and so grateful for the games, books, and treat bags.  It was really fun to see how much they appreciated such a little gesture from us.

If I hadnt gotten the chance to live in summit, I don’t know if I would have gotten the chance to learn as much as I did this year.  Living in summit was a great opportunity for me and I know that I’ll miss it next year!

Future Summit Students: Don’t put your blog off…you’ll forget to do it.

End of the Year

1. In just a sentence describe your Summit Experience this past year?

The Summit Experience taught me to become a better leader and role model, and have fun experiencing civil engagement in the community.

2. What aspects of Summit do you feel will be beneficial to you as you continue your Drury experience?

I feel that Summit has taught me that even little things can make huge impacts.  For instance, tutoring a student once a week made a huge improvement in their confidence and education.  That is so significant, and I will definitely be looking for more opportunities like this in the future.

3. What was the greatest thing you learned from living in Summit Park?

Living in Summit Park taught me to be a part of a small community!  I enjoyed living with my roommates, and we all were able to learn about each other and what it’s like to function in our apartment.

4. What impact do you feel you have made on the community along with your agency and why?

I feel that I have impacted the students that I individually tutored in a positive way.  I feel like I was a great role model and that I was able to engage them in school work that they might not have been able to get individual attention for.  The teachers have also commented about how much of an improvement they’ve seen since I started working with the kids, so that is a great thing to hear!

5. If you would have not had the chance to live in Summit, how would have this changed your experience at Drury?

I wouldn’t have had the opportunity to experience some life-changing situations.  I also don’t believe I would’ve been as civically engaged as I would like to be on and off campus.  Summit encourages leadership and volunteering, and without living in Summit, I’m not sure I would’ve found the motivation to be as involved this year.

6. Looking back at the Summit Experience over the past year what would you have changed and why?

I’m not sure I would’ve changed anything significant.  Maybe I would’ve thought about making my volunteer hours more convenient to my schedule, but those are little things.  I’m very pleased with the experience overall.

7. What is some advice you would give to future Summit groups?

Take advantage of the time you spend here!  Don’t take your volunteering for granted.  Everything you do will make an impact on the organization you’re helping, so make sure it’s a positive one!  Most of all, make sure to keep Andrew in line. 😉

Thanks Summit, for all the experiences and memories!  I will miss you next year, but I’m very blessed to have been a part of Summit 2010-2011.

Last blog of the year… *tear tear

1)Summit has been challenging but overall really rewarding.

2)I think that college students don’t put in enough hours volunteering.  College students have plenty of time that is spent sitting in front of a tv so its good to have a reason to go out and help the community.

3)I don’t know if I will ever want kids…

4)I think that it shows strong leadership on the part of all college students when they are willing to take some time out of their day to work with children who really look up to them!  I think that our group shows the McGregor kids that there are some really good role models out there.

5)I know that I will remember my year long volunteering with the McGregor kids.  I think it makes me much more compassionate.

6)I feel like us Summit neighbors don’t really know one another.  I would be nice to know your neighbors names… and I didn’t think that it would be important till it was too late to change the situation.

7) Best advice: Don’t wait to get your project started half way through first semester!!!! Don’t do it!  It really puts a crunch on you during finals week. Trust me!


I really hate that Friday song…

I can’t believe it’s already April!  Here’s a blog update on what’s been going on with the ELL students.

What accomplishments have happened with your project over the course of this spring semester?
-We’ve made a lot of progress over the past semester with our project.  We see the results from the kids themselves!  I know personally, one of the kindergarten boys has made significant improvements because of the weekly help I’ve been giving him.  I’m really glad to know that the individual one-on-one help we have been able to provide is making a difference.

What has been the greatest experience this past month volunteering with the agency?
-My greatest experience would be having Muhammad (one of the boys I’ve been helping)  look at me in the face and say thank you after studying with him.  He’s adorable, but you can tell he’s been really shy about getting to know others in the class.  It was an awesome experience to know that I’ve made a significant impact in his life.

What has been your greatest challenge this past month volunteering with the agency?
-The greatest challenge over the past month would be learning how to adjust tutoring techniques with different students.  One of the girls I’ve been helping needs a different sort of motivation in order to get her work done with me.  She struggles with writing, so she likes to avoid that part of the work, and would rather color and draw.  I have to really encourage her and insist on doing her work first.  That has been a struggle.

What projects or activities do you still have planned to finish out the year?
-We’re planning on making goodie bags, buying games for the classrooms, and handing out pencils to the ELL program.  We’re hoping these will help encourage the kids and reward them for their hard work this year, as well as provide classroom activities for upcoming years.

This experience has been amazing so far.  I’m excited to look at how much we helped the ELL program throughout the year!

Partyin Partyin Yeah!

April so far has been a pretty relaxed month for volunteering.  We’ve pretty much been on our regular schedule with volunteering except for last week when they were having MAP testing.  We’ve continued to work both with the younger kid ELL room as well as some of the older kids as well.  Lately we’ve been working a lot with Joey because she still needs the most help out of the older kids.  The 5th graders have been reading Charlotte’s Web, which is surprisingly a very tricky book to get through.

When we work with Joey on Charlotte’s Web, we usually have to read a chapter and then work on vocabulary words that she doesn’t know.  Some of the chapters have a lot of big words in them…and they’re a bit trying to get through.  One of the buggest problems with reading the book is that Joey just really doesn’t want to read it.  She always tries to make a deal with me that if I read one page she’ll read the next page.  Clearly this 11 year old is brighter than I am, as she always seems to get to read the shorter pages.  Even though reading Charlotte’s Web isn’t sometimes the most enjoyable, Joey is always really fun to work with and it’s really interesting to get to see how she progresses.

For the end of the year, we’re planning on purchasing things for the ELL classrooms like letter and book sets, as well as making all of the students goodie bags.  It’s been a great month so far, and I can’t wait to see what the rest of the semester will bring!

Friday Friday, Getting Down on Friday

Accomplishments this spring semester?
Our accomplishments this spring have been the improvements that our ELL kids have made in the past few months.  I can tell that the students I work one on one with are becoming stronger English speakers every week.  
What has been the greatest experience this past month volunteering with the agency?
This week was very hectic because of MAP testing. The little ELL students had a substitute teacher this Thursday and she was very excited to see me.  It made me feel good that she really needed and appreciated my help.  Sometimes I feel like the ELL teachers take us for granted but I am glad to know that my help was highly valued my the substitute teacher.
What has been your greatest challenge this past month volunteering with the agency?
This week was a bit rough.  I was working one-in-one with Bila, a second grade girl from the Philippines.  On Thursday we were reading books and going over food vocabulary with flash-cards.  Bila was not really in the mood to do anything and she kept saying that she just wanted to go home.  I asked which book she wanted to read and she said none… over and over till I made the executive decision.  When it came to the flash-cards, she was soo over doing work.  She knew all the words but getting her to practice her vocabulary was like pulling teeth.  In the end she did her work so that she could get a sticker.  Bila is a very sassy girl and even though she can be a handful sometimes, I really do like working with her.
What projects or activities do you still have planned to finish out the year?  
We have our big shopping trip for school supplies and games for the teachers at McGregor.  We are planning on making goody bags for all 86ish kids in the ELL program! Can’t wait for that.  
Ok thats it for me.  Now I gotta get down (because its Friday)!