Egger, Carvajal dedicate time helping children

by Megan Provost, Staff Reporter

Students at WHS are volunteering their time by helping to teach the younger members of the community.

Although clubs such as Operation Snowball and Students Help Accept Diversity in Every Situation (S.H.A.D.E.S) volunteer at elementary school, individuals also go out of their way to serve the community through church sevices and youth groups.

Abbey Egger, freshman, has worked as a volunteer preschool teacher at Bridge Community Church in Des Plaines for the past three years and teaching Sunday school for two years.

She started volunteering when she first began attending the church in 2009, and a friend there heard that she was not involved in anything in the church community.

She suggested the preschool group “Cubbies.”

“I didn’t really want to do it at first, but I didn’t want to be mean and say no,” Egger said.

She teaches  for a few hours on Sunday and Monday nights in the church building.

“The children are adorable,” Egger said.  “It’s something I look forward to doing every week.”

Her goal in doing this is to help set a good example for the generation that is going to take on the world someday.

“I tell the kids all the time to listen before they talk,” Egger said.  “I want to create a community full of good listeners.”

For anyone interested in getting involved in their community, Egger suggests volunteering for something “you love or enjoy doing.”

“You’re more willing to do it and likely to stick with it,” Egger said.

Likewise, Maritza Carvajal, senior, has worked as a youth leader at Mount Zion Church in Buffalo Grove since she began teaching Sunday school at age 11.

She wanted to be a teacher ever since she was little, and religion was a regular practice, “so it was kind of an easy choice.”

“What I taught in Sunday school was more bible stories than real life, and I kind of wanted to teach that,” Carvajal said.

She has taught the same group of children since she first volunteered and says she has enjoyed watching the children grow religiously and as people.

“It’s taught me that you can have an impact on people even by doing the smallest of things,” Carvajal said.

Her students are now middle school aged, “so they’re not much younger than me,”

Carvajal is also involved in Student Council, New Dawns, plans to join the girls’ varsity soccer team and takes Advanced Placement classes, such as AP Psychology.  Despite her busy schedule, she is able to take the time to teach and buy treats for her youth group.

“I can take mistakes that I’ve made and try and prevent them in them (the youth group),” Carvajal said.

Her advice to anyone looking for volunteer work, or to work with children in general, is to stay open-minded because there are many different opportunities.

Carvajal teaches Sunday school every Sunday from 3 p.m. to 4 p.m. and is a youth leader every Monday from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. or 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.