The Community Catalyst
For over a year now I’ve been working with underprivileged children within my college town providing them with the basic tools needed to be successful students in kindergarten and thereafter. From my last year of working with these children I not only learned a lot about each of them individually, but also uncovered things about myself that I never knew existed. I gained more compassion, obtained a more open mind, and got to experience the world from the mindset of a four-year-old once again.
This year I decided to enroll in that same program. Much different from the location where my school was last year, this location was in a much rougher part of the city, and had little resources to offer families. While participating in a walk around the neighborhood, it was quite clear to see that nothing there was built solely for the children besides the school that they attended. There were no parks, no libraries, not even healthy food locations besides the fast food restaurants flaunting it’s “2 for a $1” burgers on a neon sign. Understanding that the children I would be working with have little to no stimulating activities, entertainment, or adequate food locations within their community gave me a huge realization of how much of an impact my few hours with them makes. Not only was I helping them to learn the basic concepts necessary for kindergarten, but also participating in a program that was created solely for the benefit of them. These children can play, interact, and enjoy themselves in an environment tailored to their interest, unlike any other business or designated area within their community.
Seeing how much of a positive impact my time that will be spent in this community can make on these children inspires me to take a look outside of the box and stop underestimating the things I do for others. You never really know how much your actions can mean to someone else.