Tuesday, August 15, 2017

LifeMoves: 7/6, 7/11, 7/13, 7/18, 8/3, 8/10 (JOSIE)

Josie Yoon
7/6, 7/11, 7/13, 7/18, 8/3, 8/10; 4-7pm
LiveMoves
Charmayne and Caitlin
cbellamy@lifemoves.org

I helped the Redwood City Family House out with whatever they needed at the time, so for the second half of my visits, I did a few different tasks.

LifeMoves hosts various workshops to help families become independent again, including financing workshops, art therapy, and parenting workshops. During these workshops for the adults, I did activities with the children at a nearby park. By giving the parents some free time, I allowed the parents time to get necessary information without having to worry about worrying their children.

I also did some work on computers, including translating various forms from English to Spanish and helping look for apartments. Although translating forms seems like busywork, it was very important in order for the shelter to accommodate families that only spoke Spanish. I also helped families look for apartments based on the number of people in each family and their desired location, and the rent had to be under $2000 a month. This task was surprisingly difficult and gave me insight into how hard it is to find affordable housing in our area.

My service had an impact on the Redwood City Family House because I was an extra person to help, which was necessary because LifeMoves doesn’t have the funding to have a huge staff. Through this experience, I learned that although I may think I know that, for example, it is difficult to find affordable housing, I can’t truly understand the difficulty without experiencing it myself.

LifeMoves: 6/20, 6/22, 6/27 (JOSIE)

Josie Yoon
6/20, 6/22, 6/27; 4-7pm
LiveMoves
Charmayne and Caitlin
cbellamy@lifemoves.org


I thought I had a pretty good idea of what my PACT project would be like because I had volunteered at the LifeMoves family shelter in San Mateo before. However, the Redwood City location was different even at first glance: the building is much older and smaller, and there were only 5 families there. I believe that volunteering at the Redwood City Family House gave me a more meaningful and educational experience because I had more casual interactions with the people living there. These interactions helped me see the fear and discomfort that many of the families are experiencing—no one expects to be homeless.

My main job for these visits was staging units for new families who were moving in. We only gave them the most necessary items, but I never realized how many items are actually necessary—pots and pans, pillows, towels, and much more. Since LifeMoves runs on donations, we didn’t have a trash can to give one of the units, which was an item I definitely take for granted but actually has a great impact on convenience that I had never realized. Staging units helped me better understand the difficulty of supporting a household: aside from paying rent and buying food, families must be able to furnish their home with basic necessities.

Monday, July 10, 2017

Ashiana orphanage volunteering, July 28, 29, 30, 2016 (ATREYA)

Atreya Iyer
July 28, 29, 30 2016, 11am - 3pm
Ashi Haryana
Dr. Vibha Taluja
Supervisor contact info: +91 98159094331; ashianap@yahoo.com

Through teaching these students, I was targeting the social injustices of lack of education and lack of access to technology, especially for impoverished children. To me, these are worthy causes because in Silicon Valley, it seems guaranteed to us that we have education and technology, but many in the rest of the world lack what we depend upon so much.

Over the past seven sessions, I helped teach about 40 students invaluable computer skills, such as hardware, OS installation, binary, hexadecimal, Microsoft Excel, and Adobe Photoshop. I believe I really made an impact in the students’ learning. It was encouraging to see the kids’ enthusiasm as they would come early to class and leave late so they could do more on the computers. I hope that what I taught them really lasts a lifetime, as the skills they learned will help them in the future, whether it is for fun or even to help them get a job. I hope that the hexadecimal and Photoshop that I taught them was a good introduction to graphic design so the students can learn art through computers. Additionally, I hope that teaching Excel helped them learn more about storing data and manipulating it.

Honestly, I was very surprised at everything that transpired when I taught. Through educating these students, many of whom were my age or older, I realized how lucky I’ve been, not only to have parents who care for me, but also to have technology at my fingertips, and to have been taught for everyday of my life. I had also never realized how rewarding it feels to educate people, especially when teaching them things that could have far-reaching benefits for the rest of their lives.

Ashiana orphanage volunteering, July 23, 25, 26, 27, 2016 (ATREYA)

Atreya Iyer
Juy 23, 25, 26, 27, 2016, 11am - 3pm
Ashi Haryana
Dr. Vibha Taluja
Supervisor contact info: +91 98159094331; ashianap@yahoo.com
I taught computer skills at the Ashi Haryana orphanage in India during the summer before my junior year.

One of my preconceptions was that the children would be unwilling to learn, but luckily I was blessed with classes of students - some of whom were my age or older - who looked forward to learning every day. I initially believed that the children I would be teaching would be much less skilled at using the computer - that I would have to teach them how to type, how to use the mouse, but luckily, they were in their third week of computer lessons already. This actually made my work slightly more difficult because it meant I had to develop a more formal lesson plan. Additionally, I assumed that they would be much less proficient in English, and that I would have to teach them in Hindi, which is a language I am not comfortable in, but the children had been taking English classes for years.


During my first four lessons, I taught the students - in 2 two hour classes of about 18 students each per day - basic computer hardware, OS installation, basic binary, and more advanced binary. I decided to teach hardware to introduce students to the actual physical computer, and so they could be able to fix problems with computers or at least identify how a computer is malfunctioning. OS installation is a necessary skill when setting up a new computer, and I decided to teach binary not because it would necessarily help them with computers themselves, but because it would help to hone the students’ mathematical skills and introduce them to thinking like a programmer, as computer programming is a skill that would hopefully carry the students far in life.