By Sydney Davenport, Contributing Writer
Posted 12:15 PM EST, Sat., Nov. 12, 2016
The Howard University Middle School for Mathematics and Science (MS)2 provides the HU community the opportunity to demonstrate its commitment to service with its newly created volunteer program.
The program, which has been in the works for three years, started last month in October. Natasha Metts, director of supplemental programs and supervisor of the volunteers, conveys her excitement at seeing the volunteers.
“Because we’ve been working on it for so long, to come into a classroom and see the kids’ responses to them (volunteers) is exciting,” says Metts, “It exposes them (kids) to new people and it allows our teachers to get extra support. And because they (teachers) have been really excited; it makes me excited.”
There are four different types of volunteer opportunities at (MS)2: On-going opportunities, volunteer led projects/events, volunteer alternatives and sporadic/last minute opportunities.
Goodness Fowora, an electrical engineer major from Nigeria, is volunteering with four other students from the National Society for Black Engineers (NSBE) to work with (MS)2’s NSBE Jr. chapter. Fowora says though he is an electrical engineer by trade, working with kids is something he is passionate about.
“I like working with kids, probably because my mom who was a school teacher. They’re fun and simple, so I work with kids as much as possible when I get the opportunity.”
The (MS)2 students and the HU students spend the first day as a get-to-know-you opportunity. The NSBE volunteers, who will work with the students every other Monday and Wednesday, also facilitated elections for the junior chapter’s student council.
Volunteer Tosin Ajisebutu, a junior biology major, says she signed up last semester and was happy to get the email about the program starting this semester. She is excited to get the opportunity to work with kids even though it is a new experience.
“It’s different because I’m in a new environment and I’m dealing with younger kids … it just takes me back to when I was in middle school so I can understand why they behave the way they do,” Ajisebutu says.
Ajisebutu is the first volunteer to report on Tuesday; she plans to continue volunteering three to four days a week next semester as well.
There are currently about 90 volunteers ready to serve at (MS)2, including organizations such as: School of Education Student Council, Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc., Men of George Washington Carver Hall, National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE), Chemical Engineering Honor Society, Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Inc.
An alumna of Howard, Metts, who started working with (MS)2 as an undergraduate intern, is hopeful for the future of the volunteer program.
“I really just want it (the program) to continue to grow. I want everyone on campus to know who we are and I want them to know how they can support us if they’re interested … The more the merrier.”