Civic engagement is the opportunity to connect with the community. Manhattanville has afforded me that opportunity and continues to do so. In my four years, I have volunteered with many different programs such as Sprout Creek Farm, Habitat for Humanity, Harrison Library, Children's Hospital, Meal Program, and more. These programs have strengthened my character and improved my communication skills.
The service opportunity that stands out to me most, however, is the chance I had to volunteer as a Sunday School Teacher at Ridgeway Alliance Church. For one year, I taught toddlers 2-3 times a month, and, for another 4-5 months, I taught 3rd graders with Ridgeway's children's ministry program, RidgewayKIDZ. This experience truly taught me the importance of detailed planning, organization, communication, and patience. Further, I was encouraged to step outside of my comfort zone in working with younger children; I had to be flexible with the ministry to teach where there was a need. Working with young children, I constantly faced challenges to get the children involved and intrigued in ways that would connect their lives to their faith. I had to brainstorm ways to reach the kids while also regulating the room and ensuring that all students were safe and happy. In addition, this experience allowed me to engage in the church community and network with other teachers and administrators. Teaching Sunday School has proved to be a way to immerse myself in the community and learn a vitally important facet of the work Ridgeway is doing in the world.
To learn more about Ridgeway and the work of the church, please visit their website here.