Using talents to make a difference
A few years back, senior Dani Motze, found a passion she feels will complement her social work studies. Motze, a social work and communication major on campus, started volunteering with the South Reading Youth Initiative (SRYI). An opportunity she learned about through the Holleran Center for Community Engagement, she volunteers with this after-school program for inner-city youths twice a week.
According to a Reading Eagle article Motze said, "I get to see every day and learn that, no matter what experience or skills or talents I have, I can do something with those and make a big difference. Change can happen on a one-on-one level."
Prior to working with the SRYI, Motze was the program coordinator at the Link Center in Millmont. At the center she organized programs for preteens and teens in the community.
Her biggest challenge she faced working with the SRYI was adjusting to their age. "I had to adapt what I had learned from working with teens to fit an 8- or 9-year-old," she said. "Also learning that every kid is so different and every personality is so different that you have to remain flexible. I've been learning how to keep kids engaged and learning and having fun every day."
A complement to her future
Motze is unsure if she will work with children after graduation but she said her volunteer experience has complemented her social work studies.
"For me, learning social work, I'm learning how the individual is influenced by and influences their surroundings," she said. "I can show that kid in that moment that they're loved and cared about, and they're smart. It helps me practice what I learn in social work and apply it to that experience."
Motze also serves as the managing editor of the Alvernia student newspaper, The Alvernian.
Image above by: Tyler Sizemore