When asked, “Why do you volunteer?” people around the world will answer with different reasons.  Many find that by volunteering they discover a sense of purpose.  Doing good makes them feel good and connects them with their community.   Others will cite that it’s good for their career.  By volunteering, they have built relationships that help to build their social network and provide resources for references.  It also is a great way to build skills and make them more marketable when job hunting.

We got to thinking about this question and wondered, “why do our volunteers volunteer?”   So we asked them!

Sam Jo Clark:

I was a recent intern at Peace Learning Center this past summer of 2018. I heard about Peace Learning Center from a few friends in a program I am in called The Journey. It is a program geared towards renewal in the field of youth work. I have always loved working with kids and it became a passion of mine to make a career out of doing that. I was so excited when I got an internship position at Peace Learning Center. I did not know what I was going to be doing or what would all come out of my experience, but I knew I would be working with the youth in our community and that is all I cared about. I didn’t realize I would meet so many amazing people and have the chance to learn so much from them. The work Peace Learning Center does for our community is so rewarding and makes me happy to see that there are people who truly care about how we treat one another and how our children in our community treat each other. There are a lot of crazy things going on in the world around us and around our children. Peace Learning Center does more than just strive to create a more peaceful world. The work that they do with the IPS schools is amazing. Social Emotional Learning is an amazing thing I became familiar with while volunteering at PLC. There are a lot of children and even adults who struggle with managing their emotions and we come in and mediate situations and help children manage their emotions and express them in a positive way. Good communication is key; for me personally learning that and seeing it taught and helping teach it has taught me how to manage my relationships with different people in such a healthier way. This experience has opened many doors for me like possibly becoming an Implicit Bias facilitator for PLC; which is super exciting and a great opportunity. I have learned a lot from the amazing people at Peace Learning Center and I cannot wait to take what I have learned and bring it into my career to help make the lives of the children in our community so much better.  I couldn’t be more thankful!

Anelena “A” Ackerly:

I volunteer for PLC because I see how their programs make a real difference in young peoples’ lives, as well as in the lives of those adults who participate. We all learn from one another and we have fun, even when a bit exhausted. There is no better way to spend my time than with such beautiful people who care and give of their heart and soul in an effort to make a difference in our community. If you only listen to or read the news, which I do not, you could lose hope as the louder angrier voices would seem to say, the world does not care about the softer gentler voices. That is simply not true. PLC provides teambuilding, anti-bullying, conflict resolution through restorative practice, meditation, respect for one another and nature, and artistic programs, to name a few. PLC has a strong commitment to young people in order to improve and empower their lives. So important to stand by a young person’s side because they will not forget that moment of love, community, and support when facing difficult situations. Right on PLC! Grass root efforts are pure gold!

Alexavier Rowan:

Volunteering at the Peace Learning Center has been one of the best experiences in my life. Working with groups of youth was new to me and I was unsure what to expect at first. I quickly discovered how challenging yet rewarding facilitating can be. Being able to introduce concepts and skills that help kids learn about themselves and relating to others has been a privilege. It’s a great feeling to see a group build some positivity and come together as a team. I also appreciate that the PLC programming challenges me to examine my own biases and preconceptions about people different than myself.

Interested in volunteering?   Please email Jay Horan, Director of Engagement, for more information at jhoran@peacelearningcenter.org.