Joy Gadrinab is in her fourth year of volunteering at MCC as a Classroom Volunteer with our English as a Second Language (ESOL) program. Every week Joy assists our ESOL teachers in providing one-on-one and group support to students learning English. Joy got involved in the MCC community first as a pre-school parent and gym member. Then looking for a way to give back to the community she became a dedicated volunteer. We are lucky to have Joy’s commitment and enthusiasm as a part of the Changemakers community for the past 4 years, and look forward to many more.
Read about her experience in her own words:
What brought you to volunteering at MCC?
It was in 2016 after the election, I wanted to help out and I knew I wanted to be connected to the community. I live in the neighborhood and there is so many different people who live here. So many different languages that people speak and so I found this opportunity. Also my kids went to preschool here, I am a member of the gym, and my kids have taken classes here, so it was a nice place to come and ask if there was something I could do to help out. I found working with people and their language skills compelling because my parents were immigrants and it was a transition for them culturally as well.
What has your experience been like?
My experience has been really rewarding and eye-opening! Just in the sense of knowing more about the people who live in our community and who have come from far away and are so dedicated to learning the language. I am always impressed by anyone who comes into this country not knowing the language and learn it.
What does being a volunteer mean to you?
To me volunteering means giving your time. It means helping out in places where I feel like I can help people. I do another volunteer opportunity at a school where I read with children and work on literacy. It is great way to feel more connected to the community.
What is your favorite part about volunteering?
I really like learning about each of the individuals, where there from, and what their goals are with their language. Some of them might want to go to college, some of them might want to talk to their grandchildren. It is nice to have a rapport with the students, here about their lives, and be able to help them.
Do you have a favorite story or anecdote from volunteering?
It is really nice to connect with students over food. They usually have an end of the semester holiday party and everyone gets to bring a dish that they are good at making. It is a cool way to learn more about them and where they are from.
One fun fact about you?
I enjoying sewing in my free time.