Volunteer Spotlight: Juandiego C.

Name: Juandiego C.
Volunteer Location: Willow Street
Years Volunteered: >1

When and why did you first start volunteering with NHR?
I started volunteering with NHR in February of this year. What prompted me to volunteer was seeing a NHR flyer at work and thinking this would be a great opportunity to participate in the community. I volunteer because it allows me to use my time towards something that actually matters, which is being able to help others.

What keeps you coming back?
I keep coming back because the the kids I tutor deserve someone who cares about their progress. There’s a sense of responsibility that comes with committing to the children and really showing up, being present each and every time. The kids I work with are so imaginative, and it feels great being able to encourage that creativity and be excited for them.

What kind of impact do you believe that NHR has on our community and the city of New Haven?
For someone like me who is the first in their family to go through the U.S. public school system, I think NHR is a great resource for children whose parents or guardians may not be familiar with the education or language children need to do well in school. This becomes very important in a place like New Haven where there’s so many families from different countries, cultures, and backgrounds. I think NHR does an amazing job of integrating all those different experiences into one collective safe space where children can learn and feel supported. I also think if parents or guardians have busy work schedules, NHR allows their children to still have that one-on-one tutoring they otherwise might not have at home.

What impact, if any, do you feel that volunteering at NHR has had on you?
In the short time I’ve been with NHR, I think about my own experience having gone through elementary school and having to take ESL classes to help with my reading. Part of it is feeling nostalgia of now being on the other side helping students with their reading.

If you could describe your volunteering experience at NHR in one word, what would it be?