“It feels good to get out there, help the community, and feel like you made a difference.”


CS First Volunteer
Freelance software engineer

So you volunteer with CS First. What’s that like?

So in CS First, kids work with a program called Scratch. It’s a programming language but it’s more drag and drop. It’s easy for the kids to learn and quickly pick up. It helps them if they have an idea for a program, they can go for it they can start working on a programming language. There are all kinds of apps and games on Scratch and they seem to really enjoy it.

How did you get involved at Boys & Girls Club?

I kind of stumbled on it. I was looking for something to do in my free time. I had some off hours that I could volunteer for and I wanted to help out. I saw the CS First program and ended up connecting with Aliza. It’s been a great experience.

Why do you think Boys & Girls Clubs and CS First is important?

The Boys & Girls Club is great. I think it’s really important that we’re doing the CS First. Programming and technology is going to be everywhere when these kids become adults. I see a future where you pick the field you want to work in and you have to also learn programming. So I think it’s great to start the kids early. I love Boys & Girls Club because a lot of these kids may not be as financially well off as other kids in school, so they can get a leg up that they normally wouldn’t have.

What are some of your favorite things about volunteering?

Getting to know all the kids. They’re a riot. They definitely remind me of what I was like as a kid. They’re obsessed with specific games. I’m actually really into Minecraft. So the kids are really excited to hear about the Minecraft server I set up. So I think it just felt good to help kids out, especially if they had a problem or got stuck on something. It felt good to be the one that I got them through it and be able to help them out.

How has volunteering at the Club impacted you?

I get to be reminded of what I was like as a kid. And learn how to work with kids. At the same time, it just feels good to help people out. It feels good to get out there, help the community, and feel like you made a difference.

So were you at the App-a-thon a few months back? How was it?

App-a-thon was great. Basically kids would come in and right off the bat they would start their day coming up with an app and learn how to create it. Then they’d make an app that works on any kind of Android device. For the first time it was a great success. I ended up helping several different groups. I used to work with Android development in the past so I was fairly familiar with it. It felt good to help people make the projects they wanted to make. So I hope in the future we continue to see some really cool projects.

What do you want people to know about volunteering at Boys & Girls Club?

It’s a great program. You have a lot of autonomy and a lot of say in where the program goes and what it does. You really feel like you make a difference. If you want o help kids with technology or programming or teaching, Boys & Girls Club is a great program. The staff’s been really great bout the volunteer program.

Describe the Club in one word.