Friday, September 24, 2010

Lifelong Learner - A Volunteer Vocation

Finding a great volunteer opportunity is about finding a great fit between your personality and the needs of the position.  A good volunteer opportunity requires an actual human being to fill the role, and there is a chance to bring your uniqueness to the position.  For example, I recently started volunteering with The Women's Center in Vienna as an educational program assistant.  The Women's Center has been working for over 30 years to further the psychological, career, financial and legal well-being of women and families. However, what got my attention about the position description was the opportunity to sit in on classes.  I love to learn new things and will take a class in almost anything as long as it is free and I'm not being graded on it!

Last night was my first time assisting with a class.  I was impressed with how organized the volunteer program is. I received detailed instructions, but was also working independently and able to be authentic in welcoming the participants, introducing the speaker, and handling registrations.  I felt as if my role was important, I represented the Women's Center.  In class we learned about sugar cravings and how to conquer them.  The class was taught by a passionate and well trained nutritionist, Kristy Rodriguez, and I learned quite a bit.  The participants really enjoyed the class, but I was disappointed because the class size was very small.  The two hour class was $25 for members ($50 membership fee) or $35 for non-members, which seemed very reasonable.  They have reduced fees for women who are in need of a discount.

Next Thursday I am volunteering again, this time for the Successful Resume Essentials class.  There is still room to sign up (you can even register at the class) and if you are currently unemployed, you would most likely qualify for a reduced fee.  If the class is anything like the Sugar Blues class, it will be compelling and informative!  Hope to see you there!

The Women's Center is looking for other people to volunteer in the same role that I am in.  Most of the classes are held in Vienna in the evenings, but they also have classes on Saturdays and are hosting a few in Arlington.

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