When I first became a student at UVA, I was so impressed with all the great programs available in Charlottesville and through Madison House that allowed for interaction and mentorship between kids in the community and college-age students. I was eager to get involved with one of the nearby elementary schools, and I was told about the great work that Abundant Life had been doing at Johnson Elementary. Soon after, I began attending the afternoon tutoring sessions at the school and working with a second grader named Abdikhayr. Our time together has continued on this year, and I still see him once a week as he is moving along through the third grade.
UVA’s 750 student-athletes routinely take time out from classes, practices and games to volunteer in the community – in schools, in hospitals, at Habitat for Humanity builds, assisted-living facilities, Special Olympics events and more.
Some of UVA’s student-athletes volunteer through Athletes Committed to Education, or ACE, a Madison House program that connects more than 50 student-athletes to local elementary schools. They visit the schools on a weekly basis, allowing them to form strong bonds with students week after week, year after year.
Jaime Lear is a second-year chemistry major with a sign language minor. Currently, Jaime volunteers through Madison House as a patient ambassador at the hospital where she fulfills deliveries and special requests from patients by visiting the different floors with a cart of entertaining things to offer, such as magazines or crossword puzzles.