I am an Arts student who found out about Compass through a link on the University of Sydney website. I am studying part-time this year and was looking for a voluntary activity to get involved with. Given that I am interested in reading and literature, having majored in English in my degree, Compass seemed the perfect fit for me. I also feel that I have gotten a lot out of my education, and Compass offered a good opportunity to share that with another generation of students.
I really wanted to be helpful even in a small way, and have been pleased with how vibrant the Compass program is. Watching the teachers interact with students and being part of their learning process is really exciting. The students are lovely, and seeing them enjoy doing something different to normal school is heart warming.
I have seen the children progress in their learning and reading and it is rewarding to see them get more confident in the classroom. The school has been welcoming, and I feel that Compass volunteers and the teachers work really well together. The Compass staff are fun and friendly, and I really appreciate how they keep in touch with the volunteers, making us feel supported.
A highlight for me during the program has been talking to a little boy from Vietnam about my recent trip there, and seeing his face light up as he realized we had something in common. Playing charades with him when we don’t understand each other and using hand actions to teach him the meaning of new words has taught me flexibility and patience and is a lot of fun.
I would really encourage others to become involved in Compass – it doesn’t take up a lot of time, and offers the chance both to learn a lot and to give something back to the community, as well as to have a lot of fun.