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Volunteering at Harvard

Every Wednesday at 3:00 pm a tan van with the words Phillips Brooks House Association (PBHA) pulls up to the backside of Quincy house. I slide open the door and hop in. In 30 minutes, more like 45 with all of the traffic, we will be far from Cambridge, and in the depths of Dorchester, a neighborhood in Boston.


The van is parked and as we walk up to the Community Center, I hear the giggles of impatient children lined up waiting for us to unlock the door. Immediately we are bombarded by the hellos of all the kids, ranging anywhere from 5 to 16 years old. Wednesday’s are my favorite days because I am able to spend my entire afternoon with these children.

 

Volunteering with Franklin After School Enrichment Program (FASE) every Wednesday afternoon has been the highlight of my senior year thus far. We provide the students with mentorship and tutoring help on their homework. This school year I decided that I wanted to volunteer through PBHA for the first time since starting school at Harvard. I always told myself that I did not have time, but the truth of the matter is that I have had time all along, it is just a matter of making time for the things that I care about.

 

PBHA offers a variety of service opportunities all year round. I chose FASE because I myself am from Dorchester. This entire experience thus far has truly put my Harvard experience into perspective. As I sit in the center and help the students with their homework I often think of the various mentors that I have encountered throughout my lifetime, those relationships are ones that I hold dear to my heart. As the semester goes on I’ve found myself becoming a mentor to the children around me. Sometimes Harvard may seem out of reach, especially when you grow up in Boston and don’t actually know anyone that’s ever made it to Harvard, let alone college. I hope that they can see themselves at a place like Harvard. I hope that they realize that those dreams that they think might be far out of reach are actually attainable.


About the author

Hello! My name is Genesis De Los Santos, and I am a senior concentrating in History & Literature with a focus on Ethnic Studies and living in Eliot House. I am the oldest of 4 and was born and... View full profile

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