Volunteer Spotlight: Shannon Mooney

Shannon Mooney is a third-year in the College of Arts & Sciences majoring in Government. Shannon is an after-school tutor, and she goes to the Boys and Girls Club once a week to spend time with third- and fourth-grade students in the community and provide homework help. Homework help almost always results in one-on-one tutoring involving math and English concepts that the children might not have been able to grasp yet in the classroom. As a tutor, it's Shannon's job to ensure the kids understand why the problem is right, rather than just memorizing facts without knowing the theories behind them. Shannon's job is both supplemental and interventionist; the kids she works with are sometimes too embarrassed in class to tell the teacher if they don't understand something, but Shannon's position puts her at the same level with the kids in their eyes, so it's much easier for them to come and ask for help privately.



I'm going to keep coming back to Southwood as long as I'm a UVA student. I can't imagine what my week would be like without the kids. Every year, I pick up a different Madison House program as well, it just depends on what's going to fit my schedule the best! Through Madison House, I've volunteered with New Century Hospice, where I would act as a companion once a week to patients. As a companion, my job was mainly reading, playing board games, passing the time, or just listening to what the patients wanted to say. I initially joined because I was pre-med at the time, but I stayed with the program for the eye-opening and rewarding experience. It was decidedly the most difficult volunteering experience I've ever had, due to the nature of the position. But I always felt like I was doing something that mattered; a little act of kindness goes a long way.

I also volunteered for the Shelter for Help in Emergency (SHE), a domestic violence shelter that provides resources for victims and their families. It was a new program when I started volunteering, and I wanted to do work that felt more hands-on. I believe in the mission of the shelter, and I think they provide an invaluable service to the people who need it the most.

Read the rest of this Learning In Action interview