Volunteer profile: ‘An opportunity to give back while pursuing education’
Hobbies: Folklórico dancer, enjoys volleyball, basketball, hiking and dancing in general. She also enjoys drawing and painting. Jacqueline is Cal State Fullerton’s Folklórico Artistic Director.
How did you get involved with interning at THINK Together?
I’m doing my internship for my major, which is health science. I’m in a program called National Nutrition Changing the World (NCW). To be part of the internship program you have to be involved with children’s nutrition. Right away I thought about getting involved with THINK Together again since I worked as a program leader in the very recent past.
I also thought it was great to have an opportunity in which I could truly give back to THINK Together. I owe THINK Together; program leading was my first job.
Why did you choose to get involved with THINK Together?
I had heard about the organization from my cousin who was a program leader. She mentioned how great the experience was and how much you learn having a full classroom of students to lead not only in enriching and fun activities but academics ones too. I applied for the substitute program leader position and was placed at a school site for coverage. I quickly got hired for the permanent position at the school site.
What’s your THINK Together internship like, what do you do?
THINK Together Sports Coordinator, Daniel Moreno is my mentor he started to create afterschool health cards for the LA84 sports program. The cards have sport practices but Daniel wanted to incorporate nutrition tips and guidelines on the cards too. This was the perfect opportunity for me to lend a hand. I helped incorporate nutrition tips, I included such things as what kind of snacks are healthy and what to eat before or after a game. The cards are helpful reminders for students to stay healthy and they also help students realize that it takes more than physical activity to stay healthy they have to practice healthy eating habits too.
What have you enjoyed mostly about your THINK Together internship?
Observing a student choose celery instead of a hot Cheetos is very inspiring for a health science major. Knowing that they are applying what they are learning from the health cards is awesome and the fact that I helped create the cards makes it even more rewarding for me. Childhood obesity is an epidemic right now, and I’d like to think that our small effort with these cards is spreading healthy living knowledge where it’s most needed, with our local youth.
What would you say to others who are interested in volunteering or interning with THINK Together?
Volunteering and working with kids is a huge learning experience. It teaches you tons of skills, how to be a better teacher, learner, nurturer, and communicator are just a few. When you’re a part of the mission you start to feel the affect you have on the student’s lives. It simply just feels good to give back.
Is there a memorable THINK Together moment that you have that you’d like to share?
Oh yeah, when all the sports equipment got delivered to the office at the same time. We thought the shipments would be spaced out just a little bit. Seeing it all at once was a little overwhelming but Daniel and I welcomed the challenge and we got everything organized and ready for distribution within two days. That’s something I will never forget. Seeing the reaction on the student’s faces when they received their jerseys made every moment of the sports equipment distribution worth it. These are the things that need to get done in order to provide a safe and healthy sports environment and I’m proud to have been a part of the process.
Photos from LA 84 Sports Program