Student volunteers are busy connecting weekly and remotely with Milton’s Community Engagement Programs and Partnerships (CEPP) partners. Over the next few weeks, CEPP will launch new volunteer opportunities: Children’s Center Zoom story time, Cunningham School lunch chat group, Quincy Community Action Program ESL tutoring, and a Cantonese chat group for Randolph senior citizens with two students Zooming in from Asia. Student volunteers are also planning a Zoom music recital for residents at The Boston Home. And the CEPP student board is working on reimagining the School’s annual Hunger Awareness event, which will take place in November.
Christian Westphal ’21 is on the CEPP board and volunteers with a few other students at Mujeres Unidas Avanzando (MUA), a nonprofit based in Boston that empowers Latina girls and women through free classes and social services.
“Each Milton volunteer identified their strongest subject—literature, math, or science—for which they were the ‘designated’ tutor,” said Westphal. “The MUA students are preparing to take the HiSET exam (GED equivalent), so they need to exhibit their proficiency in multiple subject areas. For us, as volunteers, this makes volunteering great. Not only do we get to develop our Spanish, but we also have the opportunity to impact their performance in a subject area that we are passionate about. That’s what our CEPP program is all about; it’s not a one-way road, but rather a collaboration between us and our partner site, in which both parties benefit from each other’s involvement.”
Kayla Mathieu ’21 began volunteering once a week at the Taylor School as a junior and said she “immediately loved working with the students. As a student of color, I think it’s particularly important for Taylor school students, the majority who are students of color, to see a volunteer they can relate to.”
She recently began working remotely with a group of first graders on writing. Mathieu also set up a food insecurity fundraiser called Ride for Food.
“The Ride for Food encourages participants to be active while raising money to fight food insecurity in Massachusetts,” said Mathieu. “I was inspired to get involved after learning more about the Urban Farming Institute, one of our partner sites, and their work to fight food insecurity in Boston, which is pertinent to many Taylor School students. With tremendous support from the community, we raised significant funds as a MIlton team!”