The months of April and May were the busiest two months for our group. April marked the beginning of our “Guy Talk” and “Girl Talk” sessions at Pipkin and the execution of our big project, multicultural night, was on the last Tuesday of April. April was a huge success for our group I feel like and we all got to experience what it is like to work with middle school kids from various different backgrounds. We also got a glimpse of some event planning and seeing those plans go to work which was really exciting.
Guy and Girl Talk was a series of talks that were done with specially picked students that would gain the most from having the interaction with older college students. Guy Talk was done by Matt Armstrong and Aaron Tucker and they talked about things like shaving, hygiene, studying habits, and drug and alcohol prevention. There was a lot of positive responses about this installment our volunteer experience-not doing it last semester. “The kids were really excited to see us. One day in particular was when Aaron and I got there a little early during passing period and one of our students came up and asked if we were coming to class today. After we responded ‘yes’, he gave us a high five and scurried away.” This is just one account, given by Matt Armstrong of the impact they made. Girl talk was essentially the same thing, just tailored more towards girls (obviously) and was carried out by Taylor Rice this semester.
Multicultural night was our big project and it turned out to be a success as well. So much planning went in to it from organizing when international students at Drury could cook sample meals in our kitchens and figuring out catering from restaurants, to setting up the tri-fold boards with all sorts of fun facts to inform our visitors about Africa, the regions of Latin America and the Middle East, and the countries of Spain and China. It took a lot of creative effort and Alexis, our fearless manager on this project, did an outstanding job of organizing. The idea for this event was to give kids a culture snapshot of each region listed above. We had food samples, information, activities, and the beloved Chinese dragon performers that grace us with their presence in the commons every year around the Chinese New Year time. Everyone had a great time it seemed.
By the time May had rolled around, the chaos had settled in 633 East Calhoun apartments A and B. For our open house, we simply used the tri-fold posters from multicultural night and threw a slide show together to show all the people visiting our stand all the work that was put into it. Summit left everyone on the team with a lasting impact of what it means to work with a team and the trials and tribulations experienced. Communication is the biggest hurdle to jump when working with several different groups like a non-profit, school, and student group. There needs to be regular, established communication between every single person in order for things to run smoothly. This was our biggest challenge. All in all, it was an excellent experience had by all and it will be something we remember forever.
Written by the guest blogger, Aaron Tucker.
Contributions by all group members.