Congrats to our December Volunteer of the Month, Fall Programming Intern Tawanda Cummings! Tawanda has been interning with Big Class every Monday and Wednesday this fall. She is the teaching assistant for the Big Class in Residence Program at Eisenhower Academy of Global Studies, where she assists with the 7/8 grade Newspaper class and the 3rd and 6th grade Bookmaking classes. She also helps out at the office, using her writing skills to craft communication and outreach for Big Class. Thanks for a great semester, Tawanda!
What first brought you to Big Class?
I heard about Big Class in 2012, when I was a senior in high school. I decided to finally try and get more involved this year. I just really liked that Big Class is doing writing workshops and programs for kids who usually don't have access to that sort of thing.
What keeps you coming back?
I like seeing the progression of the organization, even though I come to the office once or twice a week, it's like every time I come in something new is happening. Also, the students that I come in contact with by volunteering on Mondays. I enjoy seeing their progression and interest in writing and brainstorming and creating something unique of their own that's an actual representation of their own experiences and way of life.
What are some skills you have that help you out at Big Class?
My writing skills have come in handy for sure. I can write for a variety of different purposes, and I've used them to write newsletters, emails, worksheets, etc. Another skill that helps me is my organization skills. It always helps to be able to break tasks down into smaller, bite-sized pieces.
What are some of the biggest challenges you’ve faced at Big Class?
I've really had to try and ask more questions instead of being as timid as I usually am. It's been hard for me to come out of my shell, but at Big Class, I really have chances to throw aside any anxiousness and just put myself out there more. Instead of wasting time overthinking, I just stop and believe in myself. The environment (welcoming staff, small office) at Big Class really helps me to get into mood that's comfortable enough for me to really do my thing.
What are some great projects you’ve helped with? Tell us the story behind one of them if you can.
I think that A Dark and Stormy Night was a great project. I really got to see everything that goes into planning from the beginning, so I'm glad I could help. I'm particularly proud of my A Dark and Stormy Night newsletter series.
What are you up to when you’re not volunteering with us?
When I'm not interning, I have class and I work. But for fun, I have a list of restaurants I want to go and a list of places I want to visit in the city. I also write and I love concerts.