Charitable Words Scholar’s Field Report: ‘A Feeling Of Family’ At Education Center
University of Cincinnati communications junior Sarah Jernigan is an intern on assignment to Cincinnati’s East End Adult Education Center. Here is her report from the field, shown working with students James and Denise. Thanks for the important work you are doing, Sarah. And thanks to the center for hosting her as a Charitable Words Scholar.
When I first heard about the East End Adult Education Center it sounded like a great nonprofit and I knew I wanted to get more involved. After my interview, Adele, Executive Director of the Center, gave me a tour and I was able to sit with Marty, a teacher at EEAEC, for a few minutes while she tutored one of the students. Just from those few minutes in the center’s atmosphere I knew it was a place that I wanted to invest more of my time.
My first day at the center was a little nerve wracking. As one enters any new work environment the uncertainty of being accepted and the overwhelming desire to make a good impression can be daunting. All of this uneasiness however, was eliminated. On January 7th, my first day on the job, I was shown so much hospitality and felt very welcomed. The staff gave me a warm greeting and the students had a strong willingness for me to teach them. Soon I began to see the appreciation the students have for the staff and quickly felt accepted into the East End family.
Even though I balance classes at the University of Cincinnati as well as interning at the center, the students’ energy and willingness to work motivates and inspires me to come back each day. This is not to say the center never has trials, there isn’t a place that doesn’t, but the way the staff handles each situation makes the difference from it just being a mediocre learning space to a superb one. If a student ever feels despondent about their efforts, a staff member is always there to motivate them and provide the encouragement they need.
The EEAEC has led me revaluate my plans for after I graduate. Interning here has shown me the struggles and triumphs that nonprofits face every day and has caused me to appreciate the entire “behind the scenes work” that happens at any nonprofit organization. East End has also portrayed the extreme pleasure one can receive from teaching and encouraging a student which motivates me to continue teaching others after my time at the center.
I’m genuinely proud to say I’m having a small influence on the world of learning and confidence building that surrounds the EEAEC. It’s a place where students can either continue their high school education, or for others, it’s a passage to more opportunities than they could ever imagine. For many students doors have been closed and opportunities shut off, but East End’s door is always open and the options are infinite.
When I first heard about the center, I imagined it was a great place. After the couple of months I’ve spent here I can infallibly say that East End is a great place for students and staff alike.
This entry was posted on Wednesday, February 20th, 2013 at 5:25 pm
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