3rd Thursday Breakfast Shift was great. Loved serving the potatoes and grits!
Today the seniors, the other volunteers, Courtney, and I all returned to the African American History Museum! A new volunteer from one of the local DC high schools joined us. Before leaving, Nathaniel gave us peppermint hot chocolate! Elsa, on the way to, and back from, the museum told me a little bit more about her life story. She's from Charlottesville, VA, and moved to DC to get herself an education. She worked to pay for her education and became a nurse, and now she has kids and grandkids. We also discussed the changes that DC had undergone, and is still going through, with gentrification and people moving in & out as a result. Then the seniors I was sitting with on the bus started discussing politics, so it got a little heated. At the museum Courtney served as our tour guide once again, because she knows so much Black history that is never covered and usually skipped over in U.S. history classes! We began in the 1840s and went on until about the Civil Rights Movement Era. The pain that so much of us were going through during that time could be felt throughout the group. But just as strong as the suffering and sadness we felt for America's forefathers and mothers, was our astonishment at the resilience, work ethic, creativity, and cunningness that these men and women had, not only for their survival and rights, but for a brighter future for future generations. When we returned, everyone was in a better mood, the other volunteers and I served lunch to everybody, and afterwards we all cleaned up. I met another individual who works at Iona and he is originally from El Salvador, and grew up in the U.S., so he, Courtney, and I all held a conversation in Spanish together, which made me feel like I was helping out even more (a lot of the seniors speak Spanish, and because Ife is going to Spain soon for study abroad and wants to practice Spanish.)
Today the teens had winter break, so the center was not open to them. Instead, two other interns/volunteers and I were given a training session on what the tasks for each role at LAYC were, what to do in given situations pertaining to teen issues, and had a bonding experience sharing who our favorite youth mentors were (back when we were teens/younger). Before the training, Mesgana gave one of the other interns and me a tour of LAYC; each floor was designated to certain areas of activity and/or help for teens such as mental/psychological resources, sexual health resources, a library, visual and performing art studios/displays. It was eye-opening to see the farther-reach impact that LAYC has, and I really appreciated going through certain scenarios with the other girls and Mesgana, just in case more akin situations in the center happen in the future.
We tested electronics that had been donated, and worked in bundling children books with stuffed animals. We also sorted through books and got rid of ones that were too old for the age group or that were in bad condition.
Gabi gave us a tour of Miriam's facilities and told us what to expect when serving.
I had an amazing time during orientaion
3rd Monday Breakfast shift. I had a great volunteering at Miriam's Kitchen and serving on the line.