Our March 2018 Volunteer Spotlight goes to the volunteer tutor extraordinaire, Jackie Pho. He started volunteering with us just a few months ago in November 2017 and has made a lasting impact. Jackie recalls, “I first heard about HandsOn Broward through the internet. I was looking for a better way to spend the free time that I had, that didn’t just involve staying home staring at screens all day.” He chose to act on his call to service and donate his time to those who needed it in his community.
So far, he has gravitated to opportunities in the area of early learning and literacy. ” My experience [volunteering] with HandsOn Broward has been fantastic. They led me to one of my favorite places in the world to volunteer at, Greater Horizons Academy!,” Jackie exclaims. Greater Horizons Academy mission is to provides high quality care, education, and a LIFELONG LOVE OF LEARNING to children from 6 weeks through school age, in a setting that is developmentally appropriate and intentionally inviting and administered by well-trained and caring adults. As a volunteer, Jackie has significantly contributed to the children, who are very receptive to his tutoring methods, his consistent visits and commitment to helping them learn.
When asked, why he enjoys volunteering, Jackie’s response was, “I enjoy volunteering because it gives me a real sense of accomplishment. I can see the change I’m effecting around me and it feels good. And because I work with kids, I get to see it firsthand on their face when they finally understand a math problem we’ve been chipping away at. I get to hear their laughs when I make an exaggerated voice during story time. And that makes it worth it.” Not only is his story an inspiring one, it is one that we hope that all of our volunteer have. Other opportunities that he has been a part of are Prepping for Broward Reads for the Record and the actual day of Broward Reads for the Record, which tied into him being a constant volunteer with the After school Recreation Program at Greater Horizon Academy.
Notably, he thinks that, “… it’s important for everyone to be actively involved in their community. There’s a difference between just living somewhere, and then being a productive member of society. And the difference can be as simple as just donating a few hours of your time to try and make the world a better place.” Volunteering fulfills his civic duty as a contributing community member and his impact is felt by the people our non-profits serve.
Everyone has the power to give back to their community, just like Jackie. He found us online and tell us how easy it is to start volunteering,”…with HOB [volunteering] is super simple: you get to pick and choose which assignment you want and when you want to do it, all online. So it’s perfect for people requiring service hours, or really anyone looking to give back.” Our website is very user friendly and is used by many individuals and families to get connected to opportunities to serve.
Jackie leaves all volunteers old and new with the message that, “Volunteering provides the perfect opportunity to try something out of your comfort zone. So do it! Go help plant trees at the park if you’re normally a couch potato, or read to kids in school on the side of town you never go to. You might learn something new about yourself.”
From us at HandsOn Broward, Thank You Jackie.
Written by Phillippa Paisley, Volunteer Coordinator