November 2017: Volunteer of the Month

GGO is thankful for our amazing volunteers! Thus, we would like to kick off on Thanksgiving our Volunteer of the Month.

Katie Pearson is a sophomore at Washington University in St. Louis majoring in Economics & Strategy and Leadership & Strategic Management in the business school with a minor in Environmental Studies. She has been volunteering with GGO for a year and is currently President of GGO at WashU. GGO asked Katie the following questions to highlight her dedication and hard work.

Q: How long have you been volunteering with GGO? What originally drew you to the organization?

A: I’ve been with GGO for almost a year now. I was originally drawn to the organization because it reminded me of the summer camp I grew up going to and was a counselor at, and GGO seemed like a great way to keep the fun of summer camp going all year-round!

Q: Do you have a favorite experience or memory of your time as a volunteer?

A: One of my favorite memories is from a hike in Giant City State Park in southern Illinois on our overnight camping trip this past fall. We had climbed to the top of this huge boulder, and there was a girl who was so terrified that she was nearly shaking, but she was so determined to get to the top and face her fear, which she did(!), and it was so exciting. Another student just casually commented on how it was so cool we could climb up a boulder and just sit on top of it and look around. It made me happy to hear because yeah, it can be really cool to just sit on a big rock and take in the world around us, and some of these students have never had the chance to do that before.

Q: What motivates you to continue volunteering with GGO?/Why do you like volunteering with GGO?

A: I love volunteering with GGO first of all because it’s fun and I would love to teach everyone about how cool nature is, but also because I can see a tangible difference in the students we work with from the beginning to the end of the semester. It’s incredible to see how they’ve changed and grown and come to embrace a lot of our goofy games and lessons that they didn’t want to originally, especially with some of the students I’ve known for almost a year now. I also love how hiking in the woods or canoeing on the water brings out an entirely different side of the kids from our weekly meetings that further highlights their curiosity and wonder towards the Earth, which then reminds me to appreciate the natural beauty around us that can be so easy to take for granted or forget about.

Q: Do you have any advice for someone who is considering becoming a volunteer?

A: If you’re considering becoming a volunteer for GGO, all I can say is do it! Apply!! This program needs passionate leaders who are ready to step into a role that can literally change a kid’s life and impact the future of our planet and the environment. It’ll be fun and you’ll finally make time for yourself to go outside and learn cool things (even as a leader)! So bring your passions, interests, and love for the outdoors and education because GGO would love to have you :)

Thank you, Katie for all of your hard work!!

Nadav Sprague