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Posted 2.9.16

Jiayi Zhou, a second-year MSM-Finance student, discusses her day volunteering at Citizen's Academy with Assistant Professor of Design & Innovation Michael Goldberg. Weatherhead students worked on a mock case-study with the school's third grade students. The groups gave presentations to their class. Weatherhead students were treated to a lunch with Michael Goldberg and had a great discussion on the value of civic engagement. 

1. What primarily drew you to volunteer with Citizens Academy?
I believe that joining in the volunteering activity with Citizens Academy will help me to get a better understanding about Cleveland, build connections with classmates and faculty, and also help me to understand the difference between charter school, public school and private school. Also, elementary school education is important to a human being’s whole life. If I can do something for them, or broaden their horizon, I would love to do that.
 
2. Can you talk about how you were able to use the skills you learned at Weatherhead to contribute to the children?
At Weatherhead, we learn to work as a team. No one can finish all the tasks alone. We learn how to communicate with each other to convey our own opinions and combine team members' opinions together, which is really important. During the business-play, students had their own ideas; some student want to put the ice cream store in the market, some want to place it near a zoo. To decide where to place the ice cream store and how to operate it is all about communication and combination.

3. Has this experience helped you to think about volunteering in a new way?
I used to think that volunteering is about giving. However, it is actually about give and gain. One thing that really stirred my feelings was when we were going to leave, a girl ran to me and gave me a hug. I could feel that she didn't want me to leave and really enjoyed the task we were doing that day. She kept asking me whether I'll come back to see her again. Children are the most sensitive creatures in the world, and they need love and passion from society. They can tell truth from hypocrisy easily. One team member's idea will influence the whole team imperceptibly, and they will follow the opinion to continue their creation. To help the children to see the world, and lead them onto the right track is important. Being a volunteer is not just taking my time to play with them, but also to show them a world that maybe they never met before.


 

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