Early in high school, I was required to go to various volunteering and service events to get hours to fulfill requirements of clubs I was a part of. I would go to a wide variety of events, and I soon fell in love with volunteering. So for the rest of high school, volunteering was a crucial part of who I was as a student and defined my interactions with my community. I enjoyed being able to contribute to a greater cause, all while being able to socialize with diverse people in different stages in their lives.
When I got to college, I was looking for an opportunity to continue to be involved in my community around me. At the beginning of the year, I was looking into clubs and orgs that might interest me, when all of the sudden a perfect opportunity fell into my lap. I was taking a GE class called “Immigrant America” within the Sociology department (SOCI 155), and our professor offered students an alternative to the big final project. Through USC’s JEP initiative, I could volunteer throughout the semester in an assigned community organization near campus. I remember thinking to myself that I hit the jackpot, “I can do what I love and not have to write a 20 page final project? I’m honestly set :))”.
I was assigned to a non profit education and development center for children from the South Central region of Los Angeles, an area known for under resourced schools. That semester I not only helped kids learn concepts they had difficulty grasping, I made a personal connection with them that will hopefully inspire them to work harder in school and strive to go to college. I loved volunteering that semester so much that even after I finished the class, I continue going to APCH to this day. I’m so glad that I didn’t have to sacrifice a lot to continue one of my passions that I had in high school. JEP is a massive organization on campus, and I highly recommend anyone to get involved simply by stopping by they’re house on 34th street!