Over the weekend I helped prepare the St. Thomas Church garden for the winter. I helped spread mulch on the garden beds and remove the leaves from the garden area. Knowing that what was to be grown was going to families in need of cheap and accessible food made me feel like I was helping fight a bigger cause.
Recently, I volunteered to be a tour guide at the Bank Street School for Children open house twice. I attended this school from 4th grade (9/10’s) to 8th grade (13/14’s). I have volunteered to be a tour guide at this school when I attended there, but going back as an alum was a very different experience.
Because it is a K-8 school, the parents were very interested in my experiences adjusting to a new school after going to the same school for such a long time. In some ways, I could relate to the parents on the tour; they were looking at every detail they could possibly see, asking all sorts of questions, just like when I went on tours for the high school application process.
As much as this service experience helped the school and the admissions team, I think that this experience also helped me practice my public speaking skills to a large audience, which is something that I struggle with. It also forced me to reflect on my life so far. What accomplishments have I achieved during my time at Bank Street? What were some challenges I had to overcome? What are the most memorable academic experiences that you had?
I was initially planning to do this when I graduated, even when I didn’t know about the community service hour requirements. Bank Street has a special place in my heart, and it always will. Through this experience, I got to reconnect with friends from my grade and the grades below me. I got to reconnect with parents I knew in the school. I got to reconnect with teachers and faculty. Because I got to work with my previous school, it was a very personal and fun experience and yes, I would do it again.
This summer, The girls and boys varsity soccer teams traveled to Tobago to train and contribute to the community. We lead a soccer clinic where we were coached and played with local young soccer players. At the end of the clinic, we distributed soccer equipment that we organized and brought from New York. I really enjoyed talking and playing with the local girls. They were in the minority and it was interesting to watch their dynamic with the other boys who were playing. The girls varsity team later played a lot of these girls in real 11 v 11 games and it was really fun to continue to form friendships with them.