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From an LCNV Student to a Volunteer

LCNV Volunteer Coordinator Rudo Meda (left) with Volunteer Claudia Garcia (right)

Volunteer Coordinator Rudo Meda (left) with Volunteer Claudia Garcia (right)

Volunteering can be overwhelming for the first time. Not so much for LCNV Volunteer Claudia Garcia who offers office and administrative assistance to LCNV, which includes student retention calls, fundraising mailings and various data-related projects. She also volunteered to supervise an LCNV outreach table at the Bailey’s Community Center Health Fair within her third week of volunteering with us. "I volunteered in Mexico before this one, where I served the elderly. That was more of an outdoor job. The volunteering work at LCNV is new to me," says Claudia, adding, "It's great! I can practice. I can communicate with staff which improves my communication and language skills. Also, by volunteering a few hours a week, I’m contributing to the community. This makes me happy."

Claudia moved to the United States from Mexico eight months back and she's enjoying every bit of her stay here. She misses home but says that she enjoys the culture, people, and the weather in the State of Virginia. "I'm not too far from Mexico. Even Mexican food is easily available here," she quips. 

Claudia first became associated with LCNV when she walked inside the LCNV office to register for the English language learning class. However LCNV assessors found that she tested too high for the LCNV instruction. So, she joined the conversation learning program to improve her conversational skills. After that gig, Claudia wanted to give back to LCNV and the community at large, so she became a volunteer. "Right now I'm doing office work. But I want to do much more. If given an opportunity, I'd like to become a classroom aid,” she says.

“She’s an absolute asset to our team, as all our volunteers are, and we’re so happy that she saw our flyer for classes, responded to that call, and then responded again to the call to be of service to the community,” says Volunteer Coordinator Rudo Meda. 

Claudia has a diploma in Business Tourism from Mexico and wants a full-time job where she will be able to put that knowledge to use. But before she enters the business world, she wants to achieve English language fluency and be fully prepared. 

“We wouldn’t be the same organization without our volunteers, and we wouldn’t be able to offer the same quality of service to the community without them,” says Rudo, adding, “We are ever so grateful for their support and for their perpetual partnership in our efforts.”

Mearl Colaco