Illinois Migrant Council Workshop: In July 2013, I volunteered as a student leader for the Illinois Migrant Education Program, which was a day-long workshop for immigrant parents and their children. I worked mainly with the high school students, sharing my experiences as a college student and encouraging them to aim for higher education. These students learned about their various options after high school, including universities, community colleges, technical schools, and certification programs. I led the campus tour for these students to give them an idea of what a university is like. These students came from Spanish- and French-speaking households, which was a way for me to practice a little more of my Spanish skills because I have a limited working proficiency. I had learned about the council through my professor, Dr. K. Aaron Smith, who wrote a letter explaining what I did at the program, which can be viewed here.
Recipe Editor, 100 Men Who Cook: My mom volunteers at The Literacy Council in Rockford, Illinois, and each summer, the organization puts on a fundraiser titled 100 Men Who Cook. She became a larger part of the team in the summer of 2013 when she started looking at the recipes and editing them as chefs submitted them, since the event provides attendees with a copy of each recipe cooked. I assisted her in the process of copy editing the recipes, making sure that they were worded well in addition to checking consistency as far as abbreviations used. This challenged me to put my technical editing skills to use because I had to make sure that attendees would be able to duplicate the recipes exactly if they so desired.
Petfinder Team, Wish Bone Canine Society: I joined the Wish Bone family in January 2014 because I wanted a way to help the dogs there. Wish Bone is a no-kill shelter, and I support its mission in trying to find good homes for the dogs, but I knew I would get too attached to spend time with the dogs regularly. Alternatively, I decided to update the Petfinder and Pet Portal websites to make people aware of new dogs brought to the shelter and to celebrate when dogs are adopted. This has also given me the opportunity to work in HTML while giving dogs the families they deserve.
Everyday Adoption Center Assistant, The Anti-Cruelty Society: I have always been passionate about helping animals, and when I moved to Chicago in August 2014, I knew I wanted to find somewhere to volunteer. I began at The Anti-Cruelty Society that following November as a Canine Enrichment Program volunteer, through which I socialized with the dogs to help them feel more comfortable at the shelter. I changed locations to assist at the Everyday Adoption Center in the South Loop, where I work mostly with dogs but help with cats when needed. This has been one of the best decisions I have made since moving to Chicago because it provides me with an opportunity to give back and socialize with dogs to help them find forever homes.