>It is amazing to know that our spring quarter is over, sad perhaps I should say, since it is so much fun to be around all of our participants. I don’t want to forget the excitement we feel when we get volunteers eager to learn and make a difference in their community. This quarter we had the privilege of collaborating with students from Cascadia Community College and University of Washington -Bothell as part as part of their service learning. It’s a little difficult for us to see them go…

Part of the final project the students do is a presentation which consists in talking about our services, what they’ve learned, and a reflection of the overall experience. They invited me to their presentation and I was just amazed by how much these students took from our programs. They spoke of the center as if it was THEIR job, and about what a great experience it was to be part of the Northshore Family Center.

Kjirsty Day, Alicia Morford, and Yuiho Walker during their
final reflection at Cascadia Community College.

Here are some of the thoughts that volunteers shared with us…
“I started Volunteering at the Northshore Family Center for a class project as part of social inequality class at Cascadia C.C. I participated in the after-school program. The program was still very new and there was many things about it that were still being worked out. The thing that impacted me most was when I would see improvement in the kids attitude towards the program and towards each other. Since the very start of my volunteer service I watch the kids gradually become more comfortable with the volunteers and really open up to us and allow us to help them where we could. It was a great experience to be able to provide service to these kids and for them to come back and teach us -volunteers- something as well. The kids were able to teach me that it is more important to feel like a family, where everyone belongs, to be “cool” or just hang out with friends and create strong relationships. I will be able to go back to class now and take back the knowledge that these kids have taught me. I feel more comfortable with my multicultural communication skill that I have developed with these kids and I want to continue to learn more about interacting with people across cultures and eliminate some of the boundaries our society presents. Overall, volunteering with Northshore Family Center was a great experience.”Hannah Gastineau
“A beautiful transformation is going on at Green Leaf Apartments this year under the thoughtful guidance of Jennifer Gaudinier. There is a wide range of ages and strong personalities of some of the older students and Jennifer knew that applying structure, boundaries, and incentives, building positive relationships, would make that program a great place to be at. There are healthy snacks to relish, help to be had with homework, educational games and good books to enjoy together, engaging crafts to bring out creativity, and even –the true test– outside games to practice civility and cooperation. The best part is that the students are learning to respect each other, relate positively with adults, and even the youngest have their voices heard in group discussions. My favorite thing was seeing one of the older boys show his soft side to one of the little preschool girls as she was trying to write something on the board and he was wanting to be of help. I honestly believe these students are being exposed to some life-changing values, and are learning how very valued each one of them is. It’s a beautiful thing!” -Lee Ann Oswald
And…our tradition continues…the “Volunteer of the Quarter” title goes to…Sherri Morse!!
During the time Sherri has been with us, she has worn many hats! She volunteered at the Afterschool Connections Program at Green Leaf Community Apartments, and was also part of our new Northshore Family Committee, and helped in the planning of the Children’s Day celebration. She also volunteered to wear the bee costume, and greet people as they came in the door. Sherri is always so positive and is now one of our participants in our Play & Learn group with her beautiful daughter. All of us here thank Sherri for being such a great asset to this team, she is definitely an example of leadership to all of us!
If you are interested in volunteering at the Northshore Family Center, please call Paola Noel at 206.631.8886 or email at pnoel@chs-nw.org.