Small Actions, Big Impact

by Naomi Aloysius, Nova Scotia

Frontier College is a national literacy organization established in 1899 by Alfred Fitzpatrick, a Pictou County native. We promote literacy through various methods, such as adult learning classes, new immigrant family programs, homework clubs, and reading circles.

My local community engagement at a Frontier College homework club over the past two and half years has been rewarding. Helping younger students learn concepts that are difficult or challenging for them has been personally gratifying.  Having one-on-one time to learn at the homework club strengthens students, helps them work through demanding tasks, and connects them to a community of volunteers.

Being a volunteer at a homework club is more than just helping kids with their homework. Volunteering connects us to the larger community, and it fosters an environment of mentorship, as many of our students look to us as leaders and guides. As they think about their future in education, our students ask us for advice about universities and colleges, and how they can work to achieve their dreams. By spending a couple of hours a week with these kids, homework club volunteers help students reach goals they once thought were unattainable.

Community action is part of me. Taking action through volunteer work has contributed to my growth as a person and a leader. It has made me a more active member of my community, making me aware of what needs to be done to make it an even safer, healthier place to live and grow. In identifying these issues, I can work with fellow community members to take action and implement change. Together, we will build a stronger community.

Leadership does not always need to happen through elaborate projects and grand schemes. It can happen on a smaller level, like volunteering to help a child do better in school. However, this small action has big impact. It creates a stronger community, and it instills the values of leadership in the next generation of community builders.

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