Friday, July 13, 2012

Farewell, Dear Ashley!

As many of you know from first-hand experience, any non-profit organization’s mission is made possible by the hard work of its staff and volunteers—especially its volunteers. Just think back to all of the last-minute decorations that needed hanging before an event, or the seemingly endless amount of pencils that needed sharpening before programming. Without the help of those individuals who ensured that all of those last-minute details were taken care of, I know that we especially would be driven insane with work overload! For that reason we would like to extend a very bitter-sweet thank you and farewell to a volunteer that has left a tremendous impact on us, our kids and the Grandville Avenue neighborhood.

Ashely Curry is an undergraduate student at the University of Notre Dame who is pursuing a bachelor’s degree in English. After seeing her interact so wonderfully with the kids both at the Cook Arts Center and at the Cook Library Center, it was no surprise when she told us that her dream was to teach English courses to high school students. But what’s even more fitting than her natural ability with kids is her passion to serve the community that she’s a part of. Ashley was with us at both GAAH locations this summer interning through one of Notre Dame’s programs called the Summer Service Learning Project (SSIP). Through this program’s commitment to community engagement and social conscience, Ashely was able to actively serve the community in a city of her choice. We couldn’t be happier that she chose Grand Rapids, MI!

Ashley’s roles at both GAAH sites were as innumerable as they were invaluable to both GAAH and the Grandville Avenue neighborhood. She especially enjoyed reading and playing games with the kids at the CLC after their summer program started up. As she playfully put it - “I was like an overgrown child reading and playing with them.” So many of our kids need someone like Ashley to play with them, listen to them and learn with them; to make their childhood memorable and to make sure that they stay children for as long as possible.

We thank you, Ashley, for your incredible service to GAAH this summer and wish you the very best on your journey! Grandville Avenue will miss you!

Grandville Avenue Arts & Humanities administers the programs of the Cook Arts Center and the Cook Library Center.

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