Wint Thazin, a student volunteer from Stanford, was a vibrant and loving force here at the Rosalie Rendu Center last summer. Wint captured the spirit of our center and her own meaningful experience eloquently.
Reflections from Stanford Volunteer, Wint Thazin
My time with the sweet ladies and children of the Rosalie Rendu Center has taught me a myriad of truths about education, community, and myself. Everyone here is so full of life, love, and support.
I was able to witness first hand the importance of a nurturing community space like this. At the Center, they had a place where they were comfortable enough to learn English and life skills from people who understood them. They struggled, learned and thrived alongside friends and family.
Students shared their stories as they learned, as they cooked and ate together, and as their children played together. They lifted each other up throughout. They came from similar stories and backgrounds, but each person was vibrantly herself.
At the Center, they were able to express themselves, share their culture, and bask in each others’ warmth. This humble center is a source of happiness, unity, stability, and hope for so many deserving individuals. This is exactly why the Rosalie Rendu Center, and spaces like it, are vital to healthy communities.
From these women and men, I have learned that diversity is truly a blessing. Because everyone had their own lovely personalities and quirks, everyone had something new to offer. This was really what drove me to the task of teaching a cooking and nutrition class to them.
It was so exciting to introduce food from my Asian and vegan culture. The students were wonderfully open and receptive to the experience. And, of course, everyone in the room had their own tricks and talents. During the end of the summer potluck, I was touched and delighted that all of the students were eager to share a bit of their own culture with me.
I was handed plate after plate of colorful and rich dishes. In my eyes, sharing food is equivalent to giving love, both of which were always floating around our classroom.
Lastly, working with the lovely families at the center has taught me great things about myself. I came upon my love for teaching, as well as learning.
I saw what it was like to make an impact through providing exposure to information, careful time and effort, and mutual hard work between teacher and student. In witnessing the profound changes education can bring for so many families here, I start my exploration into a rewarding field.
I am grateful for the summer that Ms. Maria, Sister T, and all the families at the Rosalie Rendu Center have shared with me. Continuing my own education and self discovery, I treasure the friendships seeded at the center and hope to further flower with this profound organization.