Class of 2013 Service Blogs

You are currently browsing the archive for the Class of 2013 Service Blogs category.

Actually I (Jiawei) have been registered as a Rosetta Foundation volunteer since beginning 2013. Although this is an organization based in Ireland, it is not difficult to register! Just go to their website: and follow the instructions, you could become a volunteer within one week!

The Rosetta Foundation was formed since 2009; they help to connect language volunteers with mostly non-profit organizations that work with under-served communities. Together with these organizations they aim to create access to language services that were previously unavailable to linguistically marginalized communities. The work done by the Rosetta Foundation allows these communities better access to knowledge and information around justice, education, healthcare, and economic well-being  I feel honored to be one of their registered volunteers to help with the translation work, specialized in English to Chinese, Chinese to English, French to Chinese, French to English translation work.

I feel extremely excited, because translation is something that I enjoy doing during my leisure time. Speaking 5 different languages, I feel this would be a particular and meaningful way to contribute to the society!

So far I have helped them in diverse translation projects such as Special Olympics Projects, LifeSteps Projects, etc. It was not only a cool way to contribute, but as well, a great opportunity to learn and make friends! I felt extremely fulfilled when my translation works were highly appraised by my colleagues in the foundation! In summary, this is one of my most exciting and meaningful life experiences and I felt so honored to be one of the Rosetta community!

—By Jiawei Gu

I opted to complete my service immersion at Centre County PAWS in State College. My initial training and responsibilities at the center were related to walking the dogs. A big part of volunteering is to understand their needs and temperament by their behavior. The staff at the center is extremely helpful in bringing the volunteers on board. They provide training for all responsibilities at the center. During my time volunteering I walked , fed and gave medicine to dogs. Apart from the core dog walking activities, I helped out with other center related activities.

The most challenging part of the duties is to walk the dogs with lot of snow on ground and the energetic dogs pulling hard to play. Since dogs cannot speak our language, getting their appreciation by tail wagging and slurp…slurp was always worth the effort. If you don’t want to get licked, you can avoid that…;-) There were many volunteers from Penn State in the time slots that I volunteered in. We all took time to know each other after completing all the tasks.

For me it was a great time to spend with dogs because I used to miss my three dogs back home. Its amazing to see how devoted community members are to the cause of pets. Service Immersion gave me an opportunity to serve our community and experience the joy of giving. Vivek_Service Immersion_PAWSComet at PAWS Center County

Participants: Sherrill Chen, Arvind Dutta, Yingyuan Ye

Children’s Dyslexia Center at State College

The service immersion gave us a wonderful opportunity to be involved with our local community and meet with our local community champions. We worked on a marketing initiative for the Children’s Dyslexia Center at State College, PA. We produced and published video content for the Center’s awareness and fundraising.

Children’s Dyslexia Center is a non-profit organization, which provides free of charge tutoring to children with Dyslexia. It is estimated that on an average 20% children have Dyslexia. The State College branch serves 15 counties in Pennsylvania, most in Centre, Huntingdon and Clearfield counties. The management and tutors at the center are very devoted to the mission. However the center is challenged by limited awareness of dyslexia in addition to being underfunded. After our discussions with the Center’s leadership board, we concluded that promotional video content for awareness and fundraising would be the best way to help them in the given amount of time.

It was so much fun on the day of shooting to meet with super energetic kids and their friendly parents. We shot several hours of footage covering several topics and stake holders. During our video shoot, the Center Director Ms. Marsha shared her inspiration, motivation, and commitment for the cause. She also talked about the importance of the Center. Then tutor Ms. Linda shared her experience with the children with dyslexia. We also had a chance to watch the Orton-Gillingham approach to treat Dyslexia which is unique to the Center that uses multi-sensory tactics. It was touching to talk with mothers of two kids who candidly shared their experience with the Center. It was heartwarming to know what it meant for their families. After all, a life is changed forever. A kid feels confident to take on life and any challenge once s/he can overcome Dyslexia. The strong faith from the people for the Center touched us all.  It made us happy. We were contributing to a great noble cause, in however small way that we could. The post video production was challenging, time-consuming but rewarding. We spend a couple of days cropping, editing, fine-tuning and finally composing our final cuts. We created a YouTube channel to upload our final videos. This could be used actively for building awareness and fundraising in future.

Through this service immersion, we learned that the children with Dyslexia with little help from the community as tutors, volunteers and sponsors can lead a normal mainstream life. In fact some of them shine as stars, such as, Richard Branson and Albert Einstein. We hope that our small effort could increase the awareness of dyslexia and engage local community and philanthropists to help this noble cause.

Name: Claudia Aguero Ruiz
Service Organization: Christian Relief Fund (CRF)


As part of my service immersion, I decided to work with Christian Relief Fund, a non-profit organization that provides food, education and bible teaching to children in third world countries. Through the help of sponsors, children are rescued from poverty and are given a better future. I volunteered my time to CRF in Leon, Nicaragua. At this location, the organization operates three preschools and they currently help a total of 436 kids.

The main purpose for my visit was to develop a social media campaign to share with others how CRF in Leon, Nicaragua is impacting the community. With the help of the local coordinators (Esteban Valle, Rafael Romero and Christian Toruño), I was able to get all the information and material I needed for the Facebook page. We took pictures, videos and interviewed children and their parents to document how they have benefited from the organization. During the process, I was able to interact with the kids, their families and the staff.

A week after I started my service immersion, I launched the Facebook page and so far it has had great success. One of the benefits from the page has been connecting sponsors with their kids. It is an easier and faster way to get updates on how their children are doing. The Facebook page is also a great way to get new people to know about the cause and encourage them to become sponsors. If you are interested in learning more about CRF in Leon, you can visit