As a freshman, Melody has faithfully served as a volunteer with the English as a Second Language (ESL) program for parents at Belvedere Elementary School. The ESL program was established by our AmeriCorps VISTA volunteer last year, at the request of Belvedere Elementary. The program is in its' second year. Melody is a volunteer that keeps the momentum of the program moving forward.
As a regular volunteer, Melody is an encouraging and patient tutor. In addition to one-on-one tutoring time, Melody spends time planning lessons and coming up with new ways to improve the ESL lessons. For example, she recognized the need for the parents to be able to touch and see the tangible objects they were learning about. Melody began bringing in everyday household items, to illustrate her language lessons. As a result, the parents have shown improvement and gained confidence in their language fluency.
I am nominating Melody to be a 2019 Newman Civic Fellow, because she has displayed a care for her wider community and a desire to improve the way of life for others.
When there is language and cultural differences, life can be hard. I learned about this during my gap year, before college, while volunteering at an orphanage for teenage girls in Peru. Fascinated by the culture and practices that shape life in Peru, I fell in love with learning Spanish as a second language. Upon returning to the U.S., I had a renewed passion for welcoming immigrants with open arms and learning how we can weave their lives and cultures into the tapestry of our country. As a college freshman I plugged into Palm Beach Atlantic's ESL program where I could help educate and support immigrants living in our community. I was able to help empower these individuals by equipping them for job interviews, teaching them workplace vocabulary, and explaining aspects of American culture. My hope is that I will be able to encourage my peers to participate in the ESL program so that we can create a one on one experience. Not only will the ESL students get to know their tutor better, I believe this will build community across different cultures.