Compass Volunteer: Semester 1, 2011 - present
Word Up - High School, Classroom Activity Facilitator
Bachelor of Laws/Bachelor of International and Global Studies student at the University of Sydney
I arrived in Sydney from Queensland at the start of 2011 to study a Bachelor of Laws/Bachelor of International and Global Studies. In Queensland, I was an active member of the community, being involved in volunteer work with the Red Cross, Rotary, the Mater Children's Hospital and Lifeline.
I was really keen to continue my volunteer work and found out about Compass via the University of Sydney student newsletter, then went in search of the O-Week stall, and jumped straight into training!
Before coming to Sydney I'd decided that I was going to get involved in as much as I could - I didn't want to get to my final year and regret not throwing myself 100% into uni. Compass seemed like a volunteering opportunity that allowed me to directly make a tangible difference in the lives of young children and teenagers. My degree is also quite theoretical, so Compass provides a welcome change!
It also gave me the opportunity to continue teaching and tutoring, something I've always enjoyed. With Word-Up, I've been predominately working with one student throughout the year, and I've definitely seen his reading ability improve. He's engaging with what he's reading and asking questions, as well as beginning to choose books that really interest him and aren't just a chore to read.
In semester two, I did some extra training and became a Classroom Activity Facilitator. When I'm in front of the class the level of enthusiasm and inquisitiveness of the students is so encouraging and inspiring. The number who come up after the presentation and ask questions about tertiary education (and are really excited about it!) remind me why I'm so passionate about Compass.
I strongly believe in the importance of the Compass program, as it obviously helps a group of students who don't have the same opportunities as I've been fortunate enough to have. It's also been a fabulous experience for me as well: I've drastically improved my presentation-making and tutoring skills at the same time as having the pleasure of meeting the wonderful Compass team, other volunteers, teachers and students!