Pre-Program Apprehensions Give Way
to Sense of Accomplishment
VANESSA: What were you anticipating CEO to be like before you started volunteering?
ELLEN: Honestly, I was nervous. I did not know what to expect. I was worried about the clients not being responsive to us because of our gender and age. I was also worried about a lack of respect and difficulties with not taking authority for us. I saw the opposite of that. After being there, I think it has helped me to move passed the stereotypes. I see how beneficial education is to not only ex-offenders but everybody. The clients’ desire to learn has inspired me to want to learn more as well.
KATIE: I was also nervous because I have never worked with adults, only children. I was nervous about the math! Also, I expected it to be more of a classroom structure. What I learned is that it is based more on client initiative. They have to want to learn.
KRISTEN: My expectations had more to do with the environment. I thought it was going to be a lot more structured and monitored because you do have assumptions about people who just got out of prison. I did not expect it to be very personal. I am finding that you do form relationships and it is a comfortable environment. It is not so monitored that you can’t do anything. There is structure, but it is not so rigid that you can’t build personal relationships.
VANESSA: What has changed from your first semester here to your current semester?
ELLEN: I think coming in 2nd semester I was more excited for it than apprehensive. The comfort level has helped me to further build relationships with people and be more effective in my tutoring. I leave now feeling like I really taught something worthwhile. Also, I have learned many skills for myself as far as resume building, and thank you letters. I didn’t know what a cover letter was when I first came! I have learned how to incorporate the enthusiasm of learning into the tutoring environment while still staying on task. I have learned how to teach in ways clients can relate to rather than just by the book.
KATIE: The comfort level is greater. Just to be more comfortable with the GED material and math is a great feeling. I feel like I know a lot more about the program and that really helps me help out the clients.
KRISTEN: I am more confident this semester than last semester. I felt like my first time back this semester was the best time. I have become more comfortable with HIRE material. I was new to resumes and that is now one of my favorite things to do with clients. I feel like you get to know a lot about them through resumes. I think I am getting better at helping them with it.
to be continued…….
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