Hometown: Wall, New Jersey
Major/ Minor: Exercise Science and Psychology, Minor in Neuroscience
Fun Facts: If you say my name fast it sounds like Paycheck.
I live at the Jersey Shore, about 15 minutes from the show “Jersey Shore”
As a freshman, how have you liked Elon so far?
It was hard getting accustomed in the beginning, and it didn’t help that I got strep throat every 3 weeks. Overtime, I found that the more people I met and developed into my community, the more Elon felt like home (cliche, I know).
What is the Village Program and what do you do with it?
The Village Program, officially the “It Takes a Village,” is a nine-week tutoring program for children ages K-8 who struggle with reading. In the fall, I tutored a third-grade girl named Eva at a local elementary school. Eva’s sentence fluency and vocabulary were great- she read with ease at a comfortable pace. However, Eva struggled with comprehension; she didn’t know the meanings to some of the words she read because Spanish was her first language.
How did you overcome this barrier?
I turned to every monolingual’s best friend: Google Translate. Then, when Eva didn’t know the meaning to a word, I plugged it into Google Translate and showed her the Spanish result, which she 9/10 times recognized as part of her Spanish vocabulary. I felt accomplished and proud that I overcame the language barrier so I was able to give Eva the best Village experience she could receive.
Why did you get involved with this organization?
I was involved with the Village program through my Global class. I decided to participate in the Village program because the Village program would be more spiritually fulfilling than the cultural events. The Village program was an excellent volunteering opportunity for me to fit into my busy college schedule.
What was rewarding about it?
Seeing Eva’s face light up when she recognized the Spanish translation of an English word combined with her determination and passion to learn more excited and motivated me. That inspired me to give Eva the best experience possible, and focus on nothing but her during our sessions.