This semester for my service learning project I chose to volunteer with Oasis tutoring. I have always had a passion for helping children and I love to see them learn, so this seemed like it would be the perfect fit for me. Sister Margarita is the executive director of Oasis and with the help of the people in the community she has opened a tutoring program for Latino children in pre-k through 3rd grade. I knew the program would be a positive environment when I read on their website “Requirement: A big heart!” The goal of Oasis is to help the Latino children in the Pinewood community to gain a larger knowledge of the English language and to help them with their homework and academic skills as well as to help the tutors to gain a different cultural perspective than they may have had before.
Before beginning my service learning project, I could not have imaged the impact that it would have on my life; I never knew how much I would learn through Oasis. Even though many times the children were crazy and couldn’t seem to focus, when they finally understood what I was trying to teach them and I saw the light come on in their eyes, there was nothing more rewarding. They have taught me the importance of getting an education, something that many times I take for granted. I have learned that the children who are struggling sometimes just need some more encouragement and attention. Oasis has taught me the importance of taking the time to sit down and explain things to children and making them feel comfortable and valued. I think that this serves to be true in any service learning that I am participating in because it is all about the people that you are working with and forming a connection with them. Oasis has taught me that no matter the language barrier, or the age difference that helping someone to do something you might find simple, like telling time or addition and subtraction, can help to make a large impact on someone else’s future.