This year I assisted the alumni office in calling potential alumni donors and asking for their assistance the following year. Every day 6, last period, I would go to the alumni office and make the calls. I found it to be an incredible experience and it really helped me to increase my communication skills. The office was a very fun environment and it was fun to work within a strong community. It was very interesting to work in an office environment for the first time. I feel like I’ve made great connections and learned skills that will last me a lifetime.
This summer I was a counselor in training at an arts camp called Buck’s Rock in New Milford, CT. I have been going there for six years and felt it was my turn to contribute to the community I love so much. As a counselor in training I helped build sets for the plays being produced at camp. I also helped out in the “little sib” program, where we ease the transition for kids who were new to the camp. This involved writing letters to put on their beds when they arrived, calling/emailing them about the camp beforehand, and periodically checking in on them to make sure they were having a good time. I had three little sibs, and I was proud of watching them grow, enjoy camp, and participate in theater. The program was very similar to the big buddy program at friends, except my little sibs were as young as nine years old. I really enjoyed this summer and hope to eventually come back.
During the first few months of the school year I tutored students in math at my old middle school. My math teacher from 7th and 8th grade asked me if I would like to come back to do this. I enjoyed helping kids with their math skills and seeing them grow of the period of time when I visited. I would go for around 45 minutes after school two times a week. Doing this was special to me because when I went to Salk, I knew many kids in my grade who had trouble with math, but none of our teachers had the time to help them. To go back and made a tangible difference in my school was very special to me. My experiences with the kids at Salk helped me fortify my connections with that school. Although it was hard on many students at Salk to not be able to get the one on one math teaching they needed, it didn’t mean that the teachers there weren’t working hard. As I answered kids’ questions my math teacher was planning the lesson for the next day, or recording specialized videos (about the topics in class) on youtube that kids could watch in their spare time. He was doing all he could to help his students, and there still wasn’t enough time for him to teach them all the things they needed to know. Being able to give my teacher some time to do work while I taught was an experience that matured and enlightened me to be able to understand where my teacher had been coming from. Although the visits didn’t really take much time, and I could be back at school for sports practice, it was still possible to influence the students greatly. I don’t think people realize how big of a difference one can make without spending any money or taking a huge chunk of time out of their days.
Rachel Hodes Class of 2017