Over the past year, Isabella Watters ’22 spent every Monday morning volunteering at Beaty Early Childhood School for her Ursuline senior service.
“The faculty was so kind and accepting of me to their school,” she said. “And the children were eager to learn from me and play with me.”
She learned so many things about each kid, formed some pretty special bonds with them, and had an eye-opening experience working with and learning from kids from low-income households.
“Not only does Beaty help children who need special education, but they also teach a lot of low-income students that I was not aware of before volunteering there,” she said. “It was a reality check for me.”
Working with Beaty helped her become more aware of her surroundings and more empathetic toward children with disabilities, learning differences, behavioral issues, and from impoverished backgrounds.
“There’s so much more to them,” she said. “It can be easy to see a screaming child in public and roll your eyes in annoyance. But after volunteering at Beaty, it has helped me understand that there might be something deeper going on that the child doesn’t know how to process yet.”
“Each child has something interesting and special to offer,” she said. “Even though some kids were very quiet, I was able to read them and understand that there’s so much more to them than not knowing how to use their voice.”
This fall, Isabella will attend the University of Alabama to study Nutrition. She plans to eventually get her master’s degree and do clinical work with children who have chronic illnesses, diseases, or potential mental disorders that require special diets.
“I’m so glad I was paired with Beaty,” she said. “I almost feel like it chose me, and I wouldn’t have wanted my service to be anywhere else.”