Arts & Culture / Mosaic / January 28, 2010

Volunteer profiles

Senior Michelle Geyer

Major: Chemistry

Minor: Anthropology/Sociology and Environmental Studies

Geyer started volunteering through the Center for Community Service in her freshman year at Knox. Geyer volunteered in high school and knew that she wanted to continue helping the community in college. Spring term of her freshman year introduced Geyer to Odyssey Mentoring, which is now her main volunteering focus.

The Odyssey Mentoring program had disappeared by the time Geyer became involved with Knox volunteering. She had been really looking forward to this program so she went from office to office to bring it back together.

“I knew I just had to make it happen,” said Geyer about reorganizing Odyssey Mentoring.

Odyssey Mentoring is a program at Lombard Middle School for sixth, seventh, and eighth grade students. There are about eight to ten Knox volunteers who tutor the 10-25 middle school students, help with homework, and just have fun, explains Geyer. The Odyssey Mentoring volunteers have worked to bring together other Knox students with their students. Chemistry Club was one of the groups from Knox that went to work with the Odyssey Mentoring kids. The students from Odyssey Mentoring will also be performing a talent show, which she says the Best Buddies will be invited to watch.

Geyer says the goal of Odyssey Mentoring is to help the kids and create a more connected feeling with the community. Geyer volunteers because, “I like connecting with people; when you volunteer, everyone is on the same level.” She explains that the volunteers and the kids become equals through volunteering.

Senior Percy Bromby

Major: Biology

Minor: History

Bromby is involved with Odyssey Mentoring and the Center for Community Service. He is also the community service organizer for Gentleman of Quality. GQ learns about most of their volunteer work from the Center for Community Service. Bromby volunteers with the Fish Food Pantry through GQ and helps out with Odyssey Mentoring and other community events on an individual basis. He really enjoys Fish Food Pantry, which collects canned and packaged goods for Galesburg families in need. He says the ladies who work there are so much fun that there is never a boring moment. Bromby also helped with the Trick or Treat for canned goods with Circle K, which he says, was a big success.

Bromby volunteers with Odyssey Mentoring, and has since his sophomore year when Geyer asked him to help. He and Geyer were friends before Odyssey Mentoring, and Bromby was happy to take control of Odyssey Mentoring when Geyer went abroad.

“I really like interacting with the kids, it is really easy to get into the environment for helping them,” said Bromby of his work with Odyssey Mentoring.

Bromby believes the Knox-Galesburg community relationship is okay, but can always improve. To him volunteering helps show the school is not gated off.

“I think it’s cool to help people out,” said Bromby about why he volunteers. He thinks it is unfortunate the average Knox student probably doesn’t know where the Center for Community Service is. The Center for Community Service is “a great place a lot of students don’t know about,” said Bromby.

Jennifer Lloyd


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