Greetings, my name is Raquel Brown, I am currently a junior. During my freshman year of college in 2009, I was awarded The Duchesne Scholarship, which requires students to serve the community. The Duchesne Center enabled me to participate in a myriad of community programs, such as Midnight Run and activities during Culture Shock Week; thus the program that intrigued me the most was Art of Dancing. Art of Dancing is a collaborative community service partnership with Manhattanville College and the Don Bosco Community Center in Port Chester, NY.I have always been passionate about dance, because I have danced my entire life; I also am very enthusiastic about social entrepreneurship and working with children. Therefore, I knew that Art of Dancing was the perfect fit for me. This program was designed to teach children dance through the use of creative and innovative activities. Initially, my role as a volunteer was very minimal and on occasions, I would choreograph dances for the children.
However, during the second semester of my freshman year, the student coordinator position arose and I immediately took advantage of the offer. I have been the student coordinator ever since and I love every minute that I work with my children at Don Bosco. In addition to dance, I have worked hard to build a positive rapport with the students; I do not want to be perceived as the lady who comes on Wednesdays/Thursdays to teach dance, but the person who is there to develop the whole-child and support them in all of their endeavors - a mentor. It is motivating to observe how the students have progressed in so many facets of their lives, which I attribute to this program.
More importantly, they have inspired me and confirmed my pursuit of a graduate degree in Education. It is my wholehearted desire to work with children in non-affluent communities. This program provided me with the experience and opportunity that I needed to direct my career path after graduating from Manhattanville. It is with sincere gratitude and appreciation that I thank the Duchesne Center for my scholarship and recognition as the February Scholar of the month.