In honor of National Volunteer Week, we invited Sangita Ramaswamy, our AmeriCorps VISTA team member, to reflect on her time with Boys & Girls Clubs of Metropolitan Baltimore.
Ever since I can remember, I have felt a drive to help others, especially those who need it the most. As I grew up and became more aware of the inequities living in my neighborhood, I also grew more passionate.
After college, I decided to apply to AmeriCorps VISTA, a national service program designed to alleviate poverty. As a VISTA, I help a non-profit organization carry out their mission in various ways. A past Club kid myself, I was instantly drawn to this data-driven role on the BGCMB team. Since I joined the team in October 2020, my role has centered around leveraging data to tell stories of impact.
During my six months of service with BGCMB thus far, I have watched the organization grow tremendously – not just in staff, but in impact as well. This past year has presented many hurdles for our Club kids and their families, but also for our staff. In the wake of the pandemic, staff have come through to provide for families when needs—food, internet access, and mental health support, among others—were not being met. Behind the scenes, BGCMB’s staff works diligently to uplift our kids and community.
Even though I’m technically the volunteer, I find myself thanking BGCMB for all that they do. Knowing firsthand the impact a stable, diverse, open-minded community can make on young people, I had to return to my roots. My own past Club experiences shaped me to be a more caring, passionate individual who strives to better the world. I hope by sharing my story I’ve inspired others to join our Movement and help ensure Great Futures for our children, who are our future.