Phavy Chey

(Corps member 09-10, Team Leader 10-11, Program Assistant 11-13)

“I would walk into my preschool classroom having the worst day after taking an exam, but after being with the kids, my day was brightened every single time.”

When I first joined Jumpstart I did not expect to have gained so many friends, life lessons, and memorable experiences. I entered the University of Washington fresh out of high school- scared and nervous. Classes were huge and I got lost everywhere I went. I joined programs and clubs to try and make my transition into college easier and I can definitely say that Jumpstart was the program that helped me the most.

I would walk into my preschool classroom having the worst day after taking an exam, but after being with the kids, my day was brightened every single time. Right when you step foot in the door you are bombarded with hugs and smiles from all of the kids. I felt just being in the classroom was making a difference for most of the kids. We were there to lend an extra hand to help the kids learn their alphabet, write their names, and learn simple daily etiquette. The kids looked forward to the days we came and loved all of the songs, activities, and games we brought to the classroom. It was the most rewarding when you saw all of the kids getting along and participating in activities or songs. Being in the same classroom for the entire year, you get to know each and every child’s personality, their families, and the staff at the preschool. I was excited to come to the preschool every week because I knew I would leave with a smile on my face and a positive outlook. I could walk in feeling stressed out and walk out feeling like a load was lifted off my shoulders.

I have gained many friends with the people on my team and others involved in Jumpstart. Jumpstart made me feel like I was making a difference, helped me find my passion for working with children, and made my transition into college a lot easier. I was able to meet new people on campus as well as get involved in my community. I hope that Jumpstart can make as much of a difference in someone else’s life as it did in mine.

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