This summer I decided to volunteer at Cooke Center for Learning and Development, an independent school for special needs students. I volunteered for over a month and spent most of my time as a teacher’s assistant at the lower school and middle school program. In the mornings, I would usually help out with the Music, Art, and Speech classes. During the afternoon, I would monitor recess, lunch, and PE. Nearly all of my work was one-on-one with the students, which allowed me to get to know them on a personal level. Everyone who I met was unbelievably friendly, making my experience at Cooke unforgettable. The students’ sheer excitement at learning and mastering of new skills as well as their perseverance, optimism, and joy were contagious, and made me wonder who benefited most from our relationships. If anyone would like to do community service that involves working with kids this summer in the city I highly recommend volunteering at Cooke.