2022 Volunteer Spotlight
from family and others, living in poverty or under-resourced conditions is something that is never easy to get out of. His parents were both born and raised mainly in China and lived in conditions less fortunate than he was used to. They mentioned that the times where someone lends even a small amount of help have impacted their lives greatly. This inspiration led to Maxwell’s interest and involvement in volunteering.
From the organization’s beginning, any proceeds from fundraisers or donations have gone to the Make-A-Wish Foundation or Feeding America to help people with limited resources or children with critical illnesses. Since being a part of the group, they have raised over $10,000 for those organizations with about $4,000 raised from their Covid-19 Relief Project for Feeding America. They released weekly videos and helped provide meals for communities who needed help with obtaining food during the pandemic. Additionally, a main goal of the group has always been to promote cultural awareness and diversity through appreciation of the Chinese arts and music. With the performances being a mixture of both Chinese and American music pieces, we are able to cultivate interest in their group and culture, as a result.
Maxwell was proud of being part of the Chinese community and the identity that it brought with it. Cultural diversity and awareness are some of the reasons he joined the Sound of Wishes. His volunteer service has been able to impact the community by not only broadening the knowledge of their culture, but their community as well. Namely, we perform at many events dedicated to Asian American communities through the Coalition for Better Asian American Community, such as at the CBCAC Asian American Census and the ‘Belonging in Chinatown’ event to empower these communities living in Chicago. At one event dedicated to announce the passing of the TEAACH Act, requiring Illinois school curriculums to include Asian American History, Sound of Wishes performed and met with local officials like Lt. Governor Juliana Stratton to talk about the group and what can be done to further Asian American acceptance in the community through music.
coaches that inspired her to learn mathematics more deeply, and she has recognized that this is not what the majority of female students experience, with this possibly being a factor in why many female students have negative feelings towards math learning, or negative outlooks as far as theirability to be “good” at math.
Creating opportunities for others like she had been given directly resulted in the creation of Mission:MathMinds. She has created something out of others’ needs, not her own. She has combined her two passions - math and volunteering - into something with the capacity to bring others alongside her in service. These lifelong passions of hers didn’t spark the action to create Mission:MathMinds; rather, it was observations made and accounts from her peers about learning during the COVID-19 pandemic that inspired all the work that has followed. Ruby’s friends and peers were affected firsthand by the pandemic. As mathematics is a subject that builds on top of itself, it is vital for previous topics to be understood to advance further in the curriculum. Without the normal opportunities to collaborate with their teacher and classmates together, it became more difficult for her friends when they were “stuck” on a concept or procedure.
Ruby was able to help her friends over Zoom as they worked on assignments together for hours. It was here where the model for mentoring, using Zoom to connect girls of different ages and experiences, was first formed. After talking with her parents, she realized that this was most likely a need not just for her friends, but for many female students in her town, district,state - and possibly the nation. This need for connection, when the connection was stripped from us, can persevere outside of a global pandemic. The technology we have to connect with one another at the push of a button can be used to connect female students in different states, and all across the United States. This is an idea that can last and flourish regardless of environment, economic status, and world crises.
member and well deserves the recognition as an AmeriCorps Member who is making a difference in the City of Springfield. The biggest motivation for Gary is the education award that is available, which he plans to use for his grandson to help with college bills.
He helped by incorporating community leaders, veterans and local community members to get involved in projects. He also worked in the Little Village Community via community gardens in order to beautify the community and help local organizations engage in outdoor programming. Rogelio is a dedicated volunteer who has sacrificed sleep and his free time on the weekends while juggling family commitments and his full time job.