Helping others comes natural to Colleen Penkala. This marketing major can be found tutoring students at St. Peter’s church in Worcester or helping children with their homework in the Kid’s Klub program in the city’s Great Brook Valley housing complex.
“Volunteering at Kid’s Klub since coming to Assumption has made me more patient, more tolerant and more open to new situations and other cultures,” said Colleen said, who is in her third year as a service director in Assumption’s Reach Out Center. The center offers Assumption students opportunities to volunteer in schools, agencies and programs throughout Worcester County. Colleen works to attract other volunteers by sharing her experiences at the annual service fair on campus and in friendly conversations as well.
“As a service director, I practically live at the Reach Out Center,” she said. “All the hours I’ve put into volunteering have made my college years more meaningful. I find that I can take experiences from my encounters with the children at Great Brook Valley and relate them to my classes. Those experiences will allow me to apply what I’ve learned in my life after college.”
Colleen currently has an internship with the American Cancer Society. She eventually plans to earn an MBA degree in nonprofit management and work with an agency or program that improves the lives of and increases opportunities for disadvantaged children.