Tuesday, November 20, 2012


i started working for my current employer on the very first business day of 2006. one of the first things new hires do is sign a thousand papers, the next thing is learn all of the benefits. one benefit that stood out to me was the ability to volunteer for 2 hours every week during the 40 hour work week.

did i hear that right? skip out on 2 hours of work once a week to go volunteer, sign me up!

i intended to find a volunteer-ship that fit me as soon as possible. 5 years later it finally happened. i had been working from home for over a year and realized that it was regular for me to go a few days without seeing anyone in person. i needed to get out of the house, and i needed to spend time with people outside of my immediate friends.

i applied to help out tutoring at risk 17-21 year olds at an organization located a few blocks from my house. the plan was to help students who had dropped out of high school study for the g.e.d. test. the g.e.d. is the equivalent of a high school diploma. the test is cut into five sections: math, science, reading, writing, and social studies.

the first few interns (they are called interns in this program) i tutored were unsuccessful, and ended up dropping out of the program or quitting the g.e.d. portion. the fourth intern i worked with was the first to sign up and take a g.e.d. test. he passed 3 of the 5, and then his internship with the company ended. and i didn't hear from him after that.

my next intern had already completed 2 of the tests, math and science. i worked with him for a few months and 2 weeks after our last tutoring session he texted me a picture of his g.e.d. certificate. shortly after, the case manager of my other intern texted me saying that he also passed his g.e.d. tests. upon hearing about the success of others that i had a slight part in gave me an unexpected feeling of joy. it surprised me how stoked i was for these interns, and how good i felt about it.

it started with a selfish desire to skip out on work, but soon turned into a very rewarding experience learning about myself and working to help others. right now i'm not volunteering, and i miss it. hopefully there's someone who needs my help in the next batch of interns.


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