By Zoe Hawryluk
Meet John Le, a Junior in the College of Engineering, on a pre-med track studying Biomedical!
As a Boston native, John is proud to engage with his community through The CSC and his favorite BU clubs: snowboarding, volleyball, and hiking. During his freshman year FYSOP experience, John participated in the elders focus area, too!
“My favorite part of FYSOP was getting to socially interact with elders through our community partners. My group got to share meals, conversations, and arts and crafts with the elders we interacted with,” he said.
John joined FYStaff for the Environment and Elders focus areas since. “I love to dive in,” he says.
When reflecting on his decision to become the Program Manager for Joining Hands, he said “I love The CSC environment and I love to do homework here. It’s very spacious and homey.”
John knew he wanted to lead a program that directly engages with people. “It’s really rewarding when I get to make someone happy,” he said.
That’s when John knew Joining Hands would be the perfect fit. Now that the year has begun, John’s steering Joining Hands toward community engagement. “Our community partners are excited to work with college students who care,” he said.
When asked about the time committment a Joining Hands volunteer should expect, John emphasized intentionality rather than scheduled service. It’s the quality of time you spend, not the quantity.
“I want people to actually contribute to a community and reap the educational and emotional benefits,” he said. This work feels the most meaningful because you get to work directly with the people you’re helping.
“My vision for Joining Hands this year is closing the age gap. I want to drive away the stigma and stereotype that old people are not capable of being personable, or doing things by themselves. They are people just like us, and deserve to be treated that way,” he said.
John is particularly excited about partnering with Susan Bailis, an assisted living facility where volunteers will get to hang out, play games, eat, and do arts and crafts with elders.
Compass on the Bay, another community partner John’s pumped for, cares for patients diagnosed with dementia and Alzheimer’s. “The work there is much more emotional and hits closer to home because a lot of people have family members going through similar things,” he said.
Compass on the Bay has an incredible staff, “They’re not just employees and elders, but family and friends,” he said.
Ultimately, John wants people to see Joining Hands and other CSC programs as more than service opportuntities. To John, The CSC is a community filled with deep connections and meaninful relationships.
“It’s not just a center, it’s a home,” he said.