Connecting with the Community Through CIS
October 22, 2020
This month’s Volunteer Spotlight features Eric Prince, Oasis Technology Services Manager, and his volunteering journey with Communities In Schools (Renton-Tukwila).
Why I Volunteer
My life is privileged; there’s nothing I need that I don’t already have. I know there are plenty of men, women, and children who, unfortunately, do not enjoy the same advantages. Because I have been gifted with this privilege, I believe it is my personal responsibility to help others in need.
This belief was reinforced when I helped build a house in Mexico during the Oasis Gives volunteer trip. The experience showed me how important it is to have a strong, connected community, and proved to me the impact that I alone could have on others.
Around the same time of the trip, I made a big move—away from my family and friends—from Phoenix, Arizona to Renton, Washington. The unfamiliarity of my new home strengthened my desire to find a way of connecting with the community. I knew that volunteering would be a great outlet for me.
Helping Kids and Their Families
Knowing that I liked and wanted to help others, I started looking for a volunteer opportunity and found Communities In Schools. I learned about the organization through my kids’ school and truly admired their dedication to building sustainable communities in addition to providing material resources. They’ve had a huge impact across the entire US and the Renton-Tukwila chapter alone has supported nearly 8,000 students through school-wide programs. They also help students on a 1-1 basis, and the results prove the importance and effectiveness of their efforts:
- 97% had improved coursework
- 96% showed improved behavior
- 91% had improved attendance
Through CIS, I regularly deliver grocery cards and boxes of food to families in need. I also prep backpacks with school supplies, so kids coming back to school have what they need on day one and are excited to get started.
A Personal Impact
It’s not complicated. That’s one thing I love about volunteering with CIS. I’m doing small, simple tasks that make a big difference. It’s not only rewarding for me to have a direct, visible impact on someone’s life, but also important to know the effect these small acts have in the long run: children and families are happier, friends are being made, and mutual support is bringing our community together.
Since beginning with CIS, I feel like I am part of the Renton community. Now, I’m very familiar with the surrounding area and the good people in it. I am grateful to be part of something bigger than myself that reminds me to never take what I have for granted.
About Communities In Schools
Communities In Schools (CIS) is the nation’s largest organization dedicated to empowering at-risk students to stay in school and on a path to a brighter future. Working directly inside more than 2,300 schools across the country, we connect kids to caring adults and community resources designed to help them succeed. We do whatever it takes to ensure that all kids—regardless of the challenges they may face—have what they need to realize their potential.