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Staff Spotlight: “The role of volunteers in promoting our cause is absolutely vital,” says, Tess Fulton, LCNV’s new Volunteer Coordinator

Contributed by Tess Fulton, LCNV Volunteer Coordinator

It has been said that the only constant is change. Here at LCNV we observe the effects of this cliché on a regular basis. From the different set of students each semester to the addition of new members to our staff, the force of change paves the way for improvement.

I would like to introduce myself as the new Volunteer Coordinator. I am pleased to have the opportunity to be part of such a supportive organization. As I get to know LCNV, I hope to learn more about our team of dynamic volunteers. Being new to a place with such a large volunteer program means I have a lot of catching up to do!

The opinions, suggestions, and perceptions of our volunteers provide critical feedback in order to improve and modify our current initiatives. If you are an active volunteer, what rewards have you found through this experience? What can we do to make your job easier? For those who are no longer as active as they once were, I welcome a discussion on how to get involved once again. We all have times in our lives in which we must shift focus to other priorities. Our door is open to past, current, and future volunteers.

The role of volunteers in promoting our cause is absolutely vital. Their service is key to the overall success of our educational programs, as well as the success of our learners. Much like our students, our volunteers come from a variety of backgrounds. We strive to place them in roles that allow them to cultivate and strengthen their unique skills and interests.

One benefit of joining LCNV is the ability to explore different volunteer roles. I encourage all volunteers to pursue new assignments. All of our training courses are opportunities to learn more about adult language education as well as to develop your own talents. Throughout the course of my own career, I have learned that what we are best suited to is not often what we expect. Our greatest strengths come to the forefront in times of challenge and need.

The path forward as an LCNV volunteer is not always a straight line to being a Teacher. For some of our volunteers, teaching is second nature. The classroom environment is where they feel most comfortable. For others, it is intimidating. The different methods and techniques are a lot to take in, especially when the information is brand new.

A great way for new volunteers who are curious about LCNV’s classroom positions to get started is to simply come in and observe a class. This provides an introduction to the position of our learners and the importance of the volunteer instructor team. If you are interested in taking on an instructional role, please contact me to register and attend Instructor Training on January 21st, 2017.

What unites all of us here at LCNV, whether it’s the staff or the volunteers, is our focus on giving our learners the tools to realize their potential. The ability to communicate, to advocate on behalf of their interests, is an essential part of building their identity and contributing to their community. Language education is the first step towards the opportunities that will open up the doors to their future.

As Volunteer Coordinator, I hope to provide encouragement, support, and guidance to our team of exemplary volunteers, enabling us all to further LCNV’s mission.