Upendo Makali, Elementary Intern at Grace
My name is Upendo Makali and I recently graduated from Wofford College. I am currently serving at Grace United Methodist Church. I have definitely enjoyed getting to know the children that I work with on a daily basis. I have been there for about 5 weeks now and there is a lot that I have learned. For example, one should never underestimate the impact they can have on a child’s life — even for a day. One story that comes to mind is that of a little girl (age 6) who fell in love with her reading volunteer.
Reading is an important component of Project Transformation as it helps to prevent summer learning loss. The children read with volunteers for about 40 minutes in the morning. This particular student’s reading volunteer was from a visiting youth team that worked with Project Transformation for a week. Although her favorite volunteer is gone now, she still asks me every day in my art class if she can draw or write something for that volunteer because they are now pen pals!
Their relationship reminds me that I must take advantage of every second with the children as an opportunity to enrich their lives in ways that they will look back and smile at all the wonderful times we shared. Her smile when she tells me about the letters she has received from her pen pal motivates me to give myself away in serving each child as best I can. Every day, I am humbled to be a part of an organization that gives me the opportunity to plant seeds of faith, hope, and love in these children. I look forward to making my last 3 weeks with Project Transformation one of the most memorable times of all our lives!