Student Opportunity ‘Jumpstart’ Makes Volunteering Worthwhile

Shwar Zaidi , Staff Writer

For a while, students have always wondered how they could help children from low-income families and under-resourced communities develop their academic and social skills. Hence, “Jumpstart” was an idea to help young kids from the ages of 4 and under to gain this achievement.

“Jumpstart has trained more than 45,000 college students and community volunteers, preparing nearly 100,000 children for kindergarten success. Jumpstart’s program is replicated across countries in 14 states and the District of Columbia,” Pauline Galezowski, program site supervisor, said. “We leverage partnerships with higher education institutions, community organizations, Head Start programs, community base preschools, and school districts to create sustainable solutions to close the kindergarten readiness gap.”

But why should people volunteer?

To help kids in low-income families to give them a boost and help gain experience through academics and working together gaining social skills. The benefit of volunteering in Jumpstart is that it is a part of AmeriCorps, a service organization. This is a great opportunity for a volunteering experience and to add in your resume. And, you can earn a $1250 education award to help pay for school loans or tuition and earning a paycheck if eligible for work-study.

“Being a part of Jump Start for the past two year has truly been such an amazing experience. Jump Start has taught me a large list of skills that will help me with my future endeavors, skills like time management, public speaking, leadership skills, etc,” Angela Almedia, a team leader in Jumpstart said. “Because Jump Start is open to all majors there is often a wide variety of students from all different majors that take part in Jump Start.”

Jumpstart also brings in diversity and a different range of ideas throughout the program.  “I am very thankful for all of the experiences and skills I have gained while volunteering with Jump Start and would recommend this opportunity to anyone that enjoys working with children,” Almedia continued.

Another student discussed how working with children of such energy and liveliness made it an experience they wouldn’t forget.

“They were the happiest, most carefree, little individuals I’ve ever met. I learned so much from them; it took me back to the basics of what it means to being kind, respectful, and polite,” Tia Meares, a freshman in CCSU, said. “Those things are so easy to do, even a three-year-old can master them. That reminder changed my perspective in more ways than one. So, if you have the chance to work with people so innocent and open minded like the children in the Jumpstart program, it can change the way you live your life and help shape someone else’s.”

Team Leader and Corps Member positions are available at CCSU. Apply online at www.jstart.org/apply.

To work on a team with other CCSU students during school years during Jumpstart sessions at one of their preschool program: HRA of new Britain or YWCA of New Britain. Session times: Monday & Wednesday 9am-12pm Or Tuesday & Thursday 9-12pm.