If you’re a little learner enrolled in our state-licensed preschool, you know from firsthand experience that Angelique Morales guarantees a great day spent painting, learning to count up to 10, reciting the letters of the alphabet and making sure you don’t spill your milk during snack time.
Our May 2019 “Volunteer of the Month” is all about showing care and compassion towards others. In fact, while not interning and volunteering at KidWorks, Angelique is pursuing a Bachelor of Science degree in nursing from West Coast University and anticipates graduating in October.
“Angelique is consistent, patient and caring when interacting with the children in preschool,” says Idalia Galdamez, Preschool Director. “She’s calm, has a soft tone of voice and is a very good listener. The children love talking to her and making her laugh with their stories.”
Idalia adds, “Angelique helps the preschool teachers with various activities and duties in the classroom. She assists with welcoming, handwashing, serving breakfast, cleaning tables and sweeping. She also helps prep and lead small group activities. Angelique encourages the children who struggle and want to give up when working on an activity. She motivates them to keep trying and gives them praise when the final project is complete.
Angelique is part of the Federal Work study Program at West Coast University and KidWorks is one of the sites the qualifies for internships.
“I chose KidWorks because once I finish my nursing program in October, I hope to work in pediatrics,” Angelique says. “Interning at KidWorks’ preschool has given me experience with being around young children, communicating with them, and learning how they think and act. Since I’m a part of the Federal Work Study program, there is no specific number of hours required, however I try to volunteer 20 hours a week.”
Gerardo Magaña, our Director of Volunteer and Leadership Resources, says KidWorks has a strong partnership with West Coast University through this work study program.
“We currently have four students partnering with us through this program,” Gerardo says. “Each student, including Angelique, is making a significant impact in the lives of students. They are critical to the day to day support of staff and key programs we offer throughout the week. This partnership helps connect incredible people like Angelique to the community we serve.”
Angelique is a big believer in our preschool. “I feel the KidWorks preschool helps set the kids off on the right path for school and the next grade levels to come by teaching them many academic skills, such as reading, counting, writing, drawing, painting and introducing them to new words and concepts,” she says. “The preschool also helps the kids with life skills, such as having manners, sharing with one another, being nice, respecting one another and talking to one another to solve an issue.”
Caregiving and compassion for others really defines Angelique. Prior to connecting with KidWorks, she worked for two years assisting in a program for seniors. She also volunteers at Children’s Hospital of Orange County (CHOC).
When not at school, interning or volunteering, Angelique says she enjoys “working out, hiking, spending time with family and friends, going to the beach and visiting Disneyland.” She adds, “I have two dogs, a four-year-old pit bull named Muffin and a three-year-old chihuahua named Oreo.”
We are deeply grateful for the positive impact Angelique has on the lives of our youngest students. It’s no wonder they always keep one eye on the classroom door, eagerly awaiting her arrival.
We invite high school and college/university students to learn more about how KidWorks can provide you with opportunities to earn service hours, intern and volunteer.
By Glenn Leibowitz, volunteer writer