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Alta volunteers get something to build on

Thursday, January 16, 2014

New Year resolutions are so last century! 


Promises to eat right, work harder, exercise more and enjoy the simple pleasures in life get caught in old habits and Facebook: the vortex of time-wasting and procrastination. Well, maybe not all the time. 


But it’s easy to get caught up watching others rather than getting out there to do ourselves—developing our own innate talents. The talents of new volunteers at Alta aren’t always apparent to them when they are trained. It is when they enter the classroom to begin teaching that they witness their own evolution as an active agent of change in the lives of their students, as well as in their own lives.


Three tutors share their thoughts on their time at Alta and how they saw the world around them change when they became volunteers.



Mary Mc Burnette 


This quote has stuck with me since I first read it, “One day you’ll only be a memory, strive to be a good one.” Just last Sunday (sic) I had a chance of meeting a former student in Arima. During our short chat she explained that she has kept up with her writing and has continued the journal/essay writing for her personal enjoyment.


I was surprised when she said “I would not forget you. I think of you often.” This had me wondering about what exactly did I do. She was always a friendly person, but knowing that she thinks positively of me and her experience with Alta, that she was able to express this so joyfully took me back to the quote above that Sunday.



Raphael Sookram


My commitment to Alta has not waned over the years and must be seen as testimony to how rewarding and fulfilling this experience has been for me.


Interacting with the students in the classroom is a sheer delight as every year there are a few students who just grab what you give and they don’t look back...


Alta has changed me for the better. It has been instrumental in making me less self-centred and more caring towards others. I’m more open to random acts of kindness and opportunities to make a difference in the lives of others. I manage time better. I’m more committed to people and things I care about... In short, Alta has given me a sense of purpose and direction which was lacking.



Philip Sealy


Besides being able to provide this educational opportunity to adult students who are otherwise extremely skilful and knowledgeable in their respective work areas, it is the natural camaraderie which exists among the tutors...


Sometimes I do meet students on the street who openly and confidently greet me with “Hi Sir,” after which follows a brief conversation on their progress in the class.


That kind of chance encounter does leave one with a sense of personal satisfaction in knowing that, as an Alta tutor, one may be making a positive impact in someone else’s life.


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