I have been a volunteer with Vecinos Unidos for 10 years.
During that time, I’ve worked with a lot of different students and have been fortunate to see some “ah-hah” moments when a child makes a breakthrough and grasps a new concept or finally understands something they have been struggling with for a long time.
This week I had an “ah-hah” moment of my own. We had a young man who had been with our program for many years and who had aged out, come back to visit us.
He was in need of service hours for school and wanted to know if he could volunteer with us to fulfill his obligation. I said most definitely!
This was moving for me in several different ways. I remember when he first came to the program. He didn’t want to really be there, but he knew we were helping him do something his parents were unable to do so he stuck it out, for several years in fact. I also thought back to when he realized he had aged out and could no longer come and he was actually saddened by this.
What struck me the most however was to see him sit in a chair where he had sat for many years himself and help another student! That he did it so well, was not only gratifying but reaffirmed in my mind that what we are doing four days a week, nine months a year, and now going on 14 years….is the right thing to do! I was inspired all over again about our efforts to make a lasting difference in the lives of the children.