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Kerrigan Mahoney

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1 reviews

Review for Education for the Children USA, Walnut Creek, CA, USA

Rating: 5 stars  

I was a volunteer at the School of Hope for two weeks in May 2017, and due to my amazing experience there, I decided to return to Guatemala and volunteer for another two weeks the following year. I am also a sponsor to a student at the School of Hope.

During my time at the School of Hope, I felt very welcomed by the staff. They treated with a great amount of respect for doing what I could to help out. Despite the language barrier that I had due to my limited experience of speaking and understanding Spanish, the staff were amazing at meeting me at the level of Spanish I was at by being patient and taking my abilities into consideration. The volunteer coordinator at the School of Hope does an excellent job of checking in on volunteers to see how they are doing throughout their volunteer experience as well.

The School of Hope itself is a great place for the students as it truly works to improve the quality of their lives. The School of Hope focuses on not only education as its main priority, but also nutrition, hygiene, and emotional well-being. I believe this is one of the many great qualities that sets this school apart from others, and I deeply admire how active the School is in bettering the lives of the students and even the families of the students.

As for my experiences interacting with the students at the School of Hope, I have to say that they are the most wonderful, memorable, and eye-opening experiences I have had. I went into my volunteer experiences there thinking that I would make an impact in the lives of the students there, but I was shocked to find that the students were the ones to impact my life. I learned so much from my volunteer experiences there. The children taught me that you don't need a lot of money or materialistic things to be happy; that no matter how different we may seem from one another, we are all connected; and most importantly, that love has no boundaries. The children there love volunteers, and will show you love regardless of who you are, where you come from, or what language you speak.

Because I loved working at the School so much and because I loved working with the children there, I decided during my first two weeks that I would become a sponsor to a student at the school. I was able to sponsor one of the students I had worked with in my assigned classroom. My sponsorship experience has been nothing but positive. The sponsorship coordinator is very friendly and helps you maintain a relationship with your sponsor child if you wish to by coordinating Skype calls, acting as a translator, sending letters and pictures, and so much more. I can't express how great of an honor it has been to be a sponsor, and how blessed I am that I was able to see my sponsor child a second time to see how he had grown and how he had progressed in his academics at the School of Hope. Being a sponsor is an absolute privilege and such a lovely experience!

Overall, working as a volunteer at the School of Hope has been the most incredible experience. I am looking forward to returning sometime in the future! I highly recommend volunteering here to anyone who wishes to have a positive and enlightening service experience. The School of Hope, the staff, the students, and my sponsor child will always have a special place in my heart, and if you're lucky enough to be able to volunteer there, they will all have a special place in yours too.

Role:  Volunteer