Upper school students packed Nichols Hall on Friday morning to seek out volunteer opportunities at this year’s Service Fair. Student-run organizations, as well as local organizations including the Monterey Bay Aquarium and Outdoor Science School, had tables set up where representatives offered information to passersby.
The Tutoring Club, one of the many student organizations accepting volunteers, offers tutoring services to students at the lower, middle and upper school levels. Students are often referred to the club by counselors. “We ask qualified upperclassmen to tutor these students,” said senior Richa Bhattacharya, co-organizer of the club with classmate Morgan Douglas. “So they’ll meet maybe once a week after school and give additional guidance.” Signing up as a tutor is as easy as being added to a mailing list. “Whenever there’s a tutoring request, we send it out to the entire club and it’s basically on a first-come, first-serve basis,” Bhattacharya said.
Shafieen Ibrahim, grade 11, was at the event to recruit volunteers for his organization, Shafieen Helping a Friend (SHAF). Ibrahim, whose parents are from Bangladesh, hopes to help children in rural Bangladesh, specifically to “get them new equipment, get them more advanced technology so that the kids there have a better education,” he said. Money he has raised by competing in Bay Area chess tournaments has been used to provide a girls school in the city of Comilla with new computers and other equipment. Ibrahim was searching for volunteers to assist in creating teaching materials that will help the students in Comilla learn how to use software such as Adobe Photoshop and Adobe Illustrator to create a “visual product” that can be sold in the United States to generate more funds for the school.
Prameela Kottapalli, grade 11, was at the Service Fair to promote Power of Words (POW), a student organization that introduces local elementary and middle school students “to the power of creativity and creative thought,” she said. POW has allied with the Boys & Girls Club of Silicon Valley to hold an upcoming eight-week writing workshop, and was at the fair seeking volunteers to help develop the curriculum and lesson plans. “We’d be helping kids with their writing skills as well as evoking a sense of creative thought and imagination,” said Kottapalli. The organization also plans to hold workshops to help the young writers develop essays they plan to submit to contests.