Volunteering has always been a passion of mine. In the summer during some of my middle/high school years, I volunteered as a camp counselor at camp Na-Bor-Lee and was a leader at Vacation Bible School. During the school year, I would go to the local nursing home and visit and play bingo with a woman who I had met in the time that my great grandfather was there.
After finishing my first year of college, I decided I wanted to get more involved in the Cheney community. I decided to join the Eagle Volunteers club within the EWU Office of Community Engagement. The Office of Community Engagement has amazing staff and volunteers, who dedicate their time to finding needs within the community and then they connect EWU students to those opportunities. One of these opportunities is the Communities in Schools of Spokane County PrimeTime Mentoring program. Through this program, community members and college students are sent into the local school districts to mentor a child in need.
For me, volunteering has never been about personal gain, it’s just about being generous to others. If there’s a need, I’m always happy to help where I can. The mentoring program stood out to me because of the overwhelming need for volunteers to make a positive impact on youth in our area. It has been amazing to see the generosity of this community, and how many community members and EWU students give their time to this program.
After I graduated from EWU, I decided that I still wanted to be a part of this mentoring program somehow, so I joined AmeriCorps. As a College Access Corps member, I have served in the Cheney School District providing college access interventions to kids in the PrimeTime program. By serving in this role, I have gotten to watch mentor/mentee relationships form and grow over the year, and that has been the most rewarding experience. I get to see these dedicated volunteers truly making a difference in their community.
There are things in life that are out of our control, but with that, there are also a lot of issues that we control; we can do something to help. So my mindset has always been that if there is a need and I can personally do something to contribute and help, then why not? By being generous and taking that time out of your day, you’re helping someone who truly needs it, and to me, that’s what matters.
Becca Gollehon is from Wilbur, Washington and a recent graduate of Eastern Washington University with a degree in Criminal Justice. She is currently a College Access AmeriCorps member serving at Eastern Washington University, where she helps provide the Cheney School District with college access interventions for youth in grades 4-12, part of the PrimeTime Mentoring program.