From the president

Sydney Lehrer, a second-year Liberal Arts major at Raritan Valley Community College is a dedicated student leader who has been volunteering at Safe Harbor Child Access Centers since 2020. The organization provides court-ordered, supervised parenting and therapeutic time; monitored custodial exchanges; and programs for children who are healing from trauma. Sydney has always loved learning other languages and she wanted to share that passion with others in her community. At Safe Harbor she has created a free program offering English classes to its Spanish-speaking population and a multiweek lesson plan focusing on basic English grammar and proper pronunciation. Says Sydney, “the most rewarding feeling was not only seeing my students master the basics of the English language, but also watching their confidence grow inside and outside the classroom.” In summer 2022, Sydney volunteered for a month in Oaxaca, Mexico at three hospitals hosting vaccination clinics. She is actively engaged in the College’s Service Learning Program, Honors College, Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society and serves as President of the Campus Fitness Club which she recently reestablished. Sydney is a recipient of the President’s Volunteer Service Gold Award from the White House for volunteering over 300 hours during a one-year period.

Michael McDonough Ph.D.


Raritan Valley Community College


Personal Statement

I started volunteering for Safe Harbor Child Access Centers to serve as a translator for Spanish-speaking families. I found my niche within the non-profit by providing free English classes for the community. I began teaching basic English grammar and vocabulary by utilizing YouTube videos, games, group discussions, and short quizzes. I soon realized the purpose of these classes wasn't only to teach English, but also to help students gain a sense of independence. It can be incredibly difficult for individuals to start a new life in a new country with a completely different language. Through these classes, I have seen my students blossom into more confident and self-assured people. I have watched a few of my students move on to take classes at Raritan Valley Community College or get jobs where they must regularly communicate with English-speaking customers. I hope to continue encouraging others to empower themselves by helping them improve their English-language skills. I also would like to study law in the future to further support those in need. My recent volunteering efforts also have included spending a summer month in Mexico where I assisted at vaccination clinics at three hospitals. Sydney Lehrer Liberal Arts Raritan Valley Community College

Sydney Lehrer

Liberal Arts

Raritan Valley Community College