CSI’s first CAB event brings students to Boys and Girls Club
UH students volunteered with the Boys and Girls Club as part of the Center for Student Involvement’s Community Action Break Tuesday.
12 students came out to volunteer at the Holthouse club location near Minute Maid Park. Students played games with the kids in a gymnasium.
“One of the objectives is to provide a safe space for kids that are typically from low-income families,” Center for Student Involvement graduate assistant Thu Pham said. “It’s also a place to make them feel welcome. I think that’s one of the reasons why (UH) decided to partner with the club.”
According to the Boys and Girls Club website, their mission is to “enable all young people, especially those who need us most, to reach their full potential as productive, caring, responsible citizens.”
The event was not only about the Boys and Girls Club helping children feel productive, however, as the volunteers got a chance to make something out of the experience.
“I like volunteering, especially with kids,” education freshman and volunteer Estefany Calixto said. “It makes me feel like I’m doing something with my life.”
Calixto learned about the event by an invitation through her email. This was the first time she volunteered with the Boys and Girls Club.
“They are pretty friendly kids, even though we are strangers to them,” Calixto said.
During the tournament, Calixto partnered with two boys, who she tried to make laugh and engaged in the game. Calixto said that the kids she played with were up for the challenge.
“The kids really like when we have volunteers,” membership coordinator of the Boys and Girls Club, Elizabeth Jimenez said. “It shows that the community cares about our children and their future.”
Jimenez said that some volunteers create bonds with the kids and keep coming back to help out.
“As an adult, we are basically what they see,” Calixto said. “The kids look up to you, and it influences them in a good way.”
Jimenez said that college volunteers help make the kids understand that there is more to life than just finishing high school, and that some of them don’t even think about finishing high school. When the kids see people that have gone beyond that, it gives them a different point of view and something to aspire to.
“People should volunteer here because it’s investing in our future,” Jimenez said. “It helps the kids see other things out there.”
CAB will run for the remainder of the week and provide students with the chance to volunteer all over Houston. For a complete list of locations and events visit http://www.uh.edu/csi/civic_engagement/cab/.