Volunteer Spotlight – Kaitlin Gannaway

Volunteer Spotlight – Kaitlin Gannaway

Introducing Kaitlin, an energetic sophomore studying Education at Chapman University. She’s not just getting a degree – she is aiming to fill the void in the teaching profession and effect real change in the world. How is she doing this, you may wonder? Well, for the past two years, since her freshman year, she’s been passionately contributing her skills as a work-study tutor to the Friendly Center’s After-School Tutoring Program.

Kaitlin was in search of a part-time job via Chapman’s work-study portal when she encountered the exciting volunteering opportunities at the Friendly Center. Its tutoring position captured her attention, and she saw it as a fantastic platform to bring her studies alive, working face-to-face with children across a variety of ages. This has proved invaluable in shaping her career and nurturing her existing passion for children’s education.

Choosing her major wasn’t an overnight decision for Kaitlin, but it clicked when she realized her natural affinity for working with kids. She recalls childhood memories of assisting younger kids at her local YMCA, whether it was teaching them how to color within lines, helping them tackle homework or simply being a role model they could look up to. With inspiration and support from her grandparent-teachers, Kaitlin discovered her life’s purpose. Her fervor for working with youngsters radiates in her interactions with the students at Friendly Center.

Once she has her degree from Chapman University, Kaitlin is eager to plunge straight into her teaching journey. Her heart is set on being a 4th-grade teacher, though her sheer love for working with children of all ages keeps her options wide open. She’s even minoring in history, just in case teaching single subjects to middle school or high school students becomes an appealing prospect someday.

Being a tutor at the Friendly Center’s After-School Tutoring Program has been a true joy for Kaitlin. Witnessing the children thrive and find joy in learning, sparking their academic growth, is her ultimate reward. Like clockwork, she’s at the Friendly Center every Tuesday and Thursday, and her dedication is deeply appreciated. As she traverses her journey at Chapman University, it is hoped she continues enriching the After-School Tutoring Program with her unwavering commitment.

If you’re inspired by Kaitlin’s story and want to make a difference as a tutor, or if you’d just like more information about volunteering, feel free to send an email to volunteer@friendlycenter.org. Don’t hesitate – join us today!

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