Yesterday I volunteered as part of an 5-week English conversation group for this awesome organization in lower Manhattan known as The Door. The Door is a great place whose goal, as described on its website, is to “empower young people to reach their potential by providing comprehensive youth development services in a diverse and caring environment.” It’s a safe haven for young adults of all backgrounds to come together and receive the guidance and push needed to succeed that they may not find elsewhere. I really do appreciate institutions such as these because it’s so easy for kids to get influenced negatively without the right role models in their lives.
After finding out that New York Cares was partnering with them, I really wanted to jump on board. I taught English when I studied in Spain and I really had a great time doing so. Although there were some language barriers, we were able to communicate in other ways and it definitely was a fun time for all.
At The Door, I worked with students recently here from El Salvador who all had varying degrees of English comprehension. Even though my Spanish was a bit rusty (you don’t use it, you lose it, right?), with the help of my little trusty Spanish to English dictionary (the same one that became my best friend while I studied in Spain), I felt myself growing more comfortable and confident as time went on. We worked on the assignment given to us, and after that was over we worked on some basic grammar (“When do you use ‘an’ and ‘a’?”) and pronunciation. They tried really hard and I know that they want to succeed and I look forward to continuing working with them and others. I definitely had a great time with them.
If you are also interested in working with The Door, they hold volunteer info sessions every Tuesday from 5:45 p.m. – 6:15 p.m. and are located at 555 Broome Street near Soho.