Volunteer Odyssey, Day 1: Knowledge Quest
Today is my first Volunteer Odyssey and I had the opportunity to visit Knowledge Quest. Knowledge Quest is an after-school program that has 3 different campuses in the South Memphis area. When I pulled up, all I could see were little kids smiling and playing! I was given the honor to hang out with 4th and 5th graders for the day. There were 9 kids in my group, and they made me feel right at home.
Today was a very special day at Knowledge Quest. It was graduation day!!! Students who were entering elementary, middle, and high school were recognized today. All of the kids in the program came to the Gaston Community Center location for the ceremony. It was just a happy place to be. There were student presentations showcasing the talent of Knowledge Quest.
One group of boys performed their drum circle routine. They were taught by a member of the Memphis Symphony Orchestra. They created a chant and had the audience participate. I found myself getting into it. I was clapping, snapping, and chanting along with everyone else.
One young child gave a speech that spoke about what he wanted his community to be when he grew up and how he was going to help. He was little nervous, but he got through it. Once he was finished, he had the biggest smile on his face.
Each campus gave out awards and called the names of students who were moving on to the next level. I was standing and clapping after they were finished that one of the kids in my group asked me, “Do you know one the kids up there?” I told her no, but I was excited because they are moving to a new adventure at a new school and I know they are going to love it.
U.S. Attorney for the Western Tennessee District, Edward Stanton III, was today’s speaker. Mr. Stanton, a Memphis native, has met President Obama and is an example of how continuing an education can lead you to anywhere you want.
Mr. Stanton shared with the students the 3 C’s: Conduct, Character, and Company. Mr. Stanton told them that with good conduct, character, and company that there was nothing they could not be when they grow up. Judging by the amount of raised hands, there are a lot of future doctors and teachers at Knowledge Quest.
I was inspired today. Knowledge Quest is helping young children embrace their natural talents and ensuring they continue to excel in their education. I appreciate Ms. Toria Brown, Site Director, and her staff for allowing me to tag along today.
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