MEET OUR VOLUNTEERS
Catherine Buckley began her volunteer journey at Homework House in October 2018. A Massachusetts native, Catherine is a junior at UMASS Amherst. Despite her hectic schedule, Catherine makes time to volunteer at Homework House at least twice a week. “It's nice working with the younger kids,” she says. “Coming to Homework House is refreshing. It's great to have a break from being on a college campus where everything is always so serious and high stress.”
Catherine never had an opportunity to work with kids in an academic setting a prior to volunteering at Homework House and she wasn’t sure that she would enjoy it. But she does! Now, she wants to continue working with children in some capacity and hopes one day to become a high school teacher.
Her experience at Homework House has taught Catherine the importance of making connections, especially with the children she works with on a regular basis. Although it may sound simple she says, “Sometimes it takes a while to develop connections with the kids, but once you do it's extremely rewarding for both parties.”
"My experience working at Homework House has been so integral to my growth here at Smith College; it helped me realize the kind of work that I want to do post-graduation and the impact I would like to have in the future."
"My experience at Homework House affected my life in a way I could never have imagined and I have the children to thank for that. I’ve developed and maintained a meaningful friendship with Guillermo one of the children I tutored."
"I became a fellow because I saw firsthand the way Homework House helps the kids who attend, and wanted to spread that message to others at UMASS. What keeps me coming back is the kids. It's always the kids. Watching them succeed--in a big or small way--is a reward in and of itself."
"The children I've worked with taught me to be more socially aware and want to fight for social equity. They showed me how to teach with care, and they taught me what kindness looks like. Homework House has helped me grow as a person."
"I'd have to say that more times than not, I feel that the kids are teaching me. They teach me about patience, empathy, understanding, and that being a tutor opens up a space for exchange between teacher and student. And through this exchange there is a building of confidence and trust that enables the student to find an inner passion and recognition that their capabilities come from within. My job is to just make them see it."