VICTORIA UREN | Design Volunteer

Victoria Uren volunteers her design skills at CPNYC and has played a large role in launching "Art from the Heart," a new initiative centered around art therapy.
I’ve learned how much of a difference you can make just by deciding to be there, to offer yourself and to let others know you’re working for the same goals.

Bio:  Victoria Uren is a rising senior at Wellesley College originally from Beijing, China.

Date you started volunteering:  
February 2016.

What inspired you to get involved with CPNYC?
Community outreach and service have always been a significant part of my life, and when my mom and I were looking for an opportunity in New York and found CPNYC, the organization’s focus made it an obvious choice.

How have you served as a volunteer?
I began by tutoring at the Saturday Resource Center last winter, when it launched. After that, I worked with my mom, as well as CPNYC’s own Development team, to put together “Art from the Heart”, an arts publication oriented exclusively towards promoting art-related opportunities for the kids at CPNYC.

Share your most memorable moment as a volunteer.
So much of my experience with CPNYC has been memorable, but it’s been particularly special to work with kids during the Saturday tutoring sessions. Seeing that someone I’ve been working with has improved, and maybe understands better now something they didn’t when they walked into the tutoring room earlier that day—it’s small, but you remember it.

What are some lessons you have learned through this process?
I’ve learned a lot by seeing how you can contribute so much by being proactive and searching for ways you can offer yourself. More than that, though, I’ve learned by seeing the dedication and passion that CPNYC’s staff bring to their work all the time. And then, through both of these things, I’ve learned how much of a difference you can make just by deciding to be there, to offer yourself, and to let others know you’re working for the same goals.

What advice would you offer to future volunteers?
One thing I would suggest is that if you find yourself wanting to work on a specific project—maybe something that you came up with—you shouldn’t be shy about it. If there’s something that your skill set or background or interests give you preparation for, then being able to offer those resources is a great thing. The initiative to drive a project is one of the greatest gifts you can give.