Volunteering at Westbay

10 12 2009

Last week Nes and I went down to the some to spend some time with the kids at Westbay. I heard about Westbay from my roommate and actually went there last year to see what the program was about. As you walk in the door you notice all these little Filipino kids running around. They were all elementary school kids who come to Westbay after school. At the time we showed up it was time to do homework so they were all sitting around the large tables working on their assignments together. We were told that the kids are not allowed to play until they are done with their homework. I sat at one of the tables and asked any of the kids if they needed help with their homework. All the kids were very friendly and excited to see new people volunteering. They all asked what my name was and automatically started calling me ate Nicole. Many of these kids were born here in America but were spoken to in Tagalog and were able to reply in Tagalog very well. I felt embarrassed that they were much younger than me and understood and spoke Tagalog very well. I think that after school programs such as Westbay are great opportunities not just to keep the Filipino youth off the streets but also to immerse them in their Filipino culture by connecting with other Filipino kids their age.

~Nicole Pagusara

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