An uncomfortable and unsure class of fourth graders put their trust in Andy Kaucher and the result was an experience they will all never forget. Kaucher, a junior English major at Alvernia, was participating in a service-learning project for Mañana, a Salvation Army program for underprivileged children in Reading, Pa.
While working with Mañana students, Kaucher taught art to fourth and fifth graders. “At first, I could tell they were unsure of who I was. They were reluctant to open up. I had to build their trust to break down that barrier and allow their creativity to flow,” says Kaucher.
The students did just that, allowing Kaucher to guide their creativity and eventually become a major influence in the after school program and with the students.
To this day, when they see their former mentor, they shout out, “Mr. Andy!” The experience has helped Kaucher realize where he wants his career path to lead. Previously, unsure of his professional track, his work with the Mañana program and its young participants helped him open his eyes to what he now anticipates in his future career.
“Without the hands-on teaching experience in the Mañana program, I’m not sure I would have ever gotten the chance to try teaching,” said Kaucher. “Now I feel like I have a focus that will guide the rest of my education and future.”