For a week in August, the boys and girls varsity soccer teams took a trip to Tobago. While in Tobago, we continued our preseason training and participated in a small tournament. The trip also gave us the opportunity to host a soccer clinic for the local players ranging from age 7 to 17. At the end of the session, we gave cleats, shirts, soccer balls, shin-guards, water bottles, and draw-string bags to the players. I enjoyed the service component of the trip very much because it gave me the chance to possibly make somebody’s day better and in doing so, I had fun training the local soccer players.
On June 19th, my brother and I went to a storage unit in Westchester,NY. We worked with an organization called Homerun Hopefuls, that donates baseball equipment to kids in the Dominican Republic. We spent the entire day sorting through piles of baseball equipment. After all piles had a certain number of each piece of equipment we boxed them up. Then over the summer the organization travels to the Dominican Republic and goes from town to town dropping off baseball equipment along with playing with the kids. I hope to attend this trip next summer.
I dedicated five weeks (July 7-August 10) of my summer to help out a non-profit in Jersey City called Liberty Science Center.
During this session, for the first two weeks, I was trained how to engage with large groups of people at exhibits, I learned valuable job skills, and learned a lot about science through doing a scavenger hunt in the first week. After these first two weeks, they sent us out onto the floors to actually start engaging with guests and making sure to make their days better for the money they paid. I had to address customer complaints, act promptly on task requests, and constantly be open to new situations on the floors and in the exhibits. Talking to groups of families, couples, school/camp groups, (of which there were so many) and disabled persons enriched my ability to feel comfortable immersing myself in a social job environment. On certain days, thousands of guests arrived, and these were the days where the volunteer work was stressful, but the feeling of accomplish regarding community service hours topped everything as worthwhile.
This past August, the boys and girls varsity soccer teams went on a weeklong trip to Tobago. While both teams were continuing preseason training during that week, the trip’s other main component was service. We held a soccer clinic for the youth, attracting kids from 5 to 17 years old. In addition to coaching, we donated cleats, jerseys, balls, shin guards, and water bottles when the session was over. This was definitely the most memorable part of the trip.
Over the summer, I went on a trip with Travel for Teens and volunteered at Ratu Meli Memorial Elementary School in Northern Fiji on Nacula Island. At the elementary school, we built a trash incinerator for the school to dispose of their trash. We also were able to spend time with the students at the school to help them practice their English as well as improve communication skills. I felt like this trip was an enlightening experience. Fiji is often misconceived as a vacationland filled with resorts. Traveling to Fiji, I learned that Fiji is a third world country and was surprised to see the amount of poverty many people face.
Over the summer, I was an intern at GO Project, an educational equity non profit that serves students struggling in NYC public schools. I made and distributed lunches to our seventy students and just helped make sure that the daily programming ran smoothly. I spent most of my time distributing and putting together lunches which was a really interesting experience. We had a list of all the students who were allergic to some thing and so when the prefab sandwiches arrived I had to take out the things that certain students could not eat–ei. cheese or the bread from the sandwich had to be swapped out for gluten free bread. When I delivered the lunches to students with allergies or dietary restrictions they often could not understand what their allergy was and explained that they always had pizza at home so why could not they have cheese on their sandwich here. It was hard to work to make them understand what an allergy is and what foods will make you feel sick if you are allergic, but a lot of students did feel sick after eating things that they were not supposed to. All my work with food and nutrition at the program made me really aware of how complicated the issue of educational equity is. It starts with food and nutrition and making sure that students feel good and healthy at school. I hope that I was able to teach some of the students, even the very youngest ones, about how best to take care of themselves and I am super excited for Saturday program to begin in two weeks!
This summer, the varsity boys soccer team went to Tobago. We did many activities there, most of which involve playing soccer. The trip was also a great bonding experience for the team. The most important activity we did there was a clinic with the kids from the island. The kids who came ranged from age 6-7 to kids older than me. During this clinic we did a few conditioning and technical drills. More importantly; however, we distributed gear such as cleats and shin guards to the kids afterwards. This experience was really meaningful because we got to connect with people we otherwise would not have had contact with and we got to help kids have fun and further their goals.
Over the summer, I was fortunate enough to be able to help out several senior citizens. At the senior center, I was an assistant teacher helping the elders learn english for chinese was their first language. I also helped lead the elder chinese chorus by playing the accompany on piano. Seeing many of the elders could only bring a smile on my face as they were seemingly ecstatic to have me there. Next year, I hope that I will be able to work at the senior center once again.
At the end of August, the boys and girls varsity soccer teams went to Tobago for our pre-season tour, tour around the beautiful country, and do service. On Wednesday, August 29th, the Friends Seminary soccer teams helped out in a soccer clinic for Tobagan kids ranging from 7-18. Even though it was incredibly hot the day of the clinic, I still enjoyed running around to completing drills with kids. After the technical and physical soccer training was done, we distributed clothing, cleats, socks, water bottles, and shin guards to the Tobagan kids. To me, seeing the smile on the kids’ smile and excitement when they received their new cleats was a highlight of the trip. Seeing how happy the kids were with their new gear made me take a second and be thankful for all the privileges I have. Hopefully Friends Seminary soccer teams continue going to Tobago and positively impact the kids there.
Over the summer, I volunteered at the Hoboken Senior Center. For an hour a day (for the days I was available), I worked to prepare meals, set up dining rooms, clean closets, and get a chance to talk to some of the seniors who go to the center often. Although I didn’t get to volunteer for as long as I would have hoped to, I was able to talk to the seniors and form good bonds with my co-workers and even the seniors themselves. Cosmo was one of the directors of the center, and I talked to him the most out of anyone. He came to Hoboken from Italy when he was seven years old, is a die-hard Juventus fan, and an all-around great guy. When I finished my summer service on September 4th, he organized a ‘going away’ ceremony for me (with the seniors), and they got me a baseball cap and sweatshirt! I was truly stunned at the number of seniors who thanked me for my work over the summer. I had an incredible experience volunteering there, and I promised them I’d be back whenever I had the chance.