Moving into college is a chaotic, exciting, and nerve racking time. Almost all of our freshman move in on the same day, but I was one of a few who got to move in early, thus avoiding the chaos. I was a part of the 2009 Urban Launch program, and without it, I highly doubt I would be as involved as I am with community service today. Urban Launchers move in on the Wednesday before classes start, as opposed to Saturday like all of the other Freshmen. I met a lot of people who were interested in the same things as me, and my anxiety about fitting in at college greatly diminished.
Urban Launch is centered around community service. I volunteered at and learned about many different organizations around Albany including the Albany Damien Center, The Albany Boys and Girls club, Habitat for Humanity, Kids day at the Troy farmer’s market, and most importantly, the Saint Anne Institute.
Before visiting St. Anne’s for the first time, my classmates and I were all rather nervous. Our group leaders talked about some of the reasons the girls were in this residential facility and it all seemed terrifying. We were given a list of a bunch of things we should NOT do, and our nerves became worse. When the girls came in, I was pleasantly surprised. They were all around my age, maybe a little younger, and many came with loud personalities. We spent our time making “dirt cups” with pudding, crushed Oreos, and a gummy worm to top it all off. I enjoyed my conversations with them and knew I wanted to return. The belief that these girls are “scary” could not be further from the truth.
Two and a half years later, I am now running the St Anne Mentor Program. This semester, we will have 5 sessions varying in times Monday- Thursday. Half of our time is spent in the gym playing kickball, volley ball, or whatever else they are in the mood to play. The first half is usually spent just hanging out, playing board games, or laughing at myself and other mentors as we play “Just Dance” on the Wii. I look forward to a new semester and hope to bring some new activities.
Learn more about volunteering for the Mentor Program this semester by emailing me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Learn more about all of the other volunteering opportunites at Saint Rose by emailing the Community Service Office at email@example.com