Name: Jeffrey Garcia Study Abroad student: California, USA
Faculty: Science and Engineering Course: Computer Information Technology
Year: 4th year
Volunteer Organisations: 121Digital, Boru3Peaks Role: Tutor, Steward
‘I’m an exchange student from the United States and I wanted to make the most out of my exchange semester at UL. Volunteering was a perfect opportunity to share my skills, gain new experiences, and meet new people. 121Digital gave me an opportunity to teach people who wanted to know more about the latest technology and gadgets. My learner Maria is an exceptional learner and we had a wonderful time together. Boru3Peaks took me to three different peaks in the Clare and Tipperary counties. We marshalled the races, signalling where the runners had to go and handing out water as well. The views from these peaks were breath-taking. I met wonderful people, volunteers and runners alike. This has to be one of my favourite experiences in Ireland. I feel like I have learned a lot from my time volunteering. It has increased my desire to volunteer and help others in the future.
I selected 121Digital because I am already adept with the latest PC and mobile technologies. I used to work as a sales associate and computer technician in a retail store, so I have experience teaching customers how to use technology. As a student of IT and computer science I feel like taking any opportunity to volunteer for a technology-based organization will help benefit my future and me. For my second volunteering location, I chose Boru3Peaks because I have never experienced marshalling a race before and I wanted to try it out.
My responsibilities for 121Digital involved tutoring learners on how to use different kinds of technologies such as cell phones and laptops. The sessions lasted for 2 hours and we answered whatever kind of questions they had for us. For Boru3Peaks I marshalled the race by directing runners and handing out snacks/water. My volunteering experience taught me that there is a lot of satisfaction that comes out of helping others. I learned that everyone has something that they can give back to their community, whether it be their physical body or knowledge.
I feel a lot more comfortable with speaking to others, especially involving teaching. I am much more confident in my own knowledge and skills to be able to relay it to others in a coherent manner.
I believe that my volunteer experience is a small but significant stepping stone in my life. A great experience taught me communication skills, teaching skills, and technical skills. By teaching others I was able to learn on my own as well. I feel that these two programs changed my outlook on volunteering and has encouraged me to pursue other volunteer opportunities to give back to my community’.
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