For the past couple of years, groups of Redmond Proficiency Academy (RPA) freshmen have been visiting local thrift stores, food banks, Big Brothers/ Big Sisters locations, the local in-town kindergarten, and other locations, to offer volunteer services as part of their Freshmen Seminar and Civics Seminar classes.
“I believe that students feel a sense of purpose and pride when they’re able to be a part of something bigger than themselves,” said Tamara Bremont, RPA health and child development instructor. “They thrive in a new set of challenges each week and love to help out in any way possible.”
Every Tuesday from 10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m., students make treks to their various locations to spend time giving back to their community. From organizing and cleaning at the local St. Vincent De Paul and Neighborhood Impact food banks to reading to kindergartners at Redmond Early Learning Center (RELC), RPA freshmen are having a positive impact on those around them through a little hard work and by simply showing up and caring.
“We are truly blessed to have the partnership with RPA and its amazing students,” said Barb Walker, RELC kindergarten teacher. “They are willing to support, listen, read, laugh and always give a helping hand.”
Students also volunteer with the Big Brother/Big Sister organization which seeks to pair role models with younger children who are in need of positive influence in their lives, and with Thelma’s Place and Countryside Living, a Redmond facility that serves to provide caregivers a break to re-energize and rest while their loved ones participate in daily activities designed for those with memory loss.
“Volunteering helps freshmen be connected with the community as well as think about others, especially during a pivotal time in their lives when their attention and time will begin to be divided in many different ways,” said KC Gobble, RPA math instructor.
Gobble also explained that student volunteer opportunities provide them with valuable experiences when applying for jobs and colleges.
“Volunteering at the food bank has been a very fun experience,” said Vanya Crumrine, freshman. “It’s a cool feeling knowing that we are helping people who experience hunger.”