What leadership roles or volunteer experiences have been important to you during your time at Maryland?
In 2007, I attended a mission trip through my church to Kerch, Ukraine. For two weeks, we held a camp for orphans and children living in depressed communities. It was a life-changing event that led in large part to my passion for working with kids.
In 2010, I went on a service-learning trip through Cross Cultural Solutions that I tailored to be an independent study through my university. I traveled to Yaroslavl, Russia and for three weeks worked in a children's psychiatric hospital, an orphanage, two camps for children in depressed communities, two senior centers, a center for individuals with disabilities, as well as did manual labor for a nearby school. While abroad, I also was given Russian lessons and visited museums, local landmarks, and performances to learn more about the culture.
In fall 2011, I volunteered with a creative writing club for Watauga County Library in Boone, North Carolina. It was an excellent way to meet kids interested in writing, one of my hobbies, and showed me how to run an effective library program.
Beginning in fall 2012, I began volunteering at a private school library for kids aged 5-14. I assist with class lessons, sit in on book clubs, shelve books, catalog materials, and help with big events like the biannual book fairs.
Also beginning in fall 2012, I teach crafts to kindergarteners in a church Sunday school!
What has your scholarship meant to you and how has it enabled you to pursue new and exciting opportunities?
I am so thankful for Noyes Association and their contribution towards my education. Not only has it eased the financial burden of attending grad school, but it encouraged me to continue reaching for my goals. Inside, I knew that I wanted to eventually work with kids in a library setting, and earning the scholarship helped me realize that others could see it too! I value the scholarship not only for the ways it has helped me financially, but also for the encouragement it has given me to keep pushing forward.