Meet David Young, your March Chicago Cares Leader of the Month. David has been volunteering at McCormick Elementary and SOS Children’s Villages since 2010. He began leading Explore Chicago at McCormick in 2011 after another volunteer leader gave us an enthusiastic recommendation to recruit David as a leader. David has been exceptional in executing the Explore Chicago curriculum and is always organized and reliable during McCormick field trips with nearly 100 students!

One thing that really makes David stand out as a leader is his dedication to the students with whom he works. At a leader social last summer, David mentioned that he studies the attendance list for his group of kids at the beginning of the year to make sure he knows every single name at the very start. David is a great ambassador of Chicago Cares and we are lucky to have him working with our clients and volunteers.

Chicago Cares: David, can you share with us how long you have been volunteering with Chicago Cares and what project you lead?

David: I became a Team Leader with Chicago Cares in August, 2011, but first began volunteering in 2010. I currently lead Explore Chicago at McCormick Elementary School in Little Village. I also volunteer with Read with Me at SOS Children’s Village in Auburn-Gresham.

Chicago Cares: You are really dedicated to the programs you work with! What has been your motivation for volunteering with Education programs?

David: I volunteer because I find the enthusiasm of the students contagious. I also like sharing a little about who I am and what I do. I hope that maybe some of my experiences will encourage the students as they start thinking about what interests them. Finally, I volunteer because of all of the teachers and principals, social workers and program administrators who give up evenings and weekends to make these programs possible.

Chicago Cares: What unexpected lessons have you learned from your volunteer service?

David: I’m not sure if I have learned any unexpected lessons, but I am still impressed at how eager my students are to attend class on Saturday mornings. I’m not sure if I would have been as eager when I was in 3rd grade. I think many of them would stay all day with we’d let them.

Chicago Cares: I’m sure there is never a dull Saturday working with students. What has been your funniest experience volunteering with Chicago Cares?

David: This year, the funniest experience has been how my Explore Chicago students have managed to find a reason to include zombies in every lesson. Trying to convince them that there was no need to worry about zombies in Ft. Dearborn was pretty funny!

Chicago Cares: What advice would you share with other volunteers interested in a leadership role?

David: You have no reason to fear. I think the kids realize how lucky they are to have these programs and therefore are eager to learn from and interact with the volunteers.

Congratulations to David for being March’s Leader of the Month!

If you are interested in learning more about leading education programs like David, contact Adrienne Cherry or call (312) 780-0800 ext. 165. The next Education Leader Training will be in April 2012.

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