Gloria Ochoa

How am I growing in my own awareness of my strengths and weaknesses?

What challenges have I been through?

In what ways have I started new challenges?

In what ways have I developed new skills?

Speaking “proper spanish” filuently:

While participating at the Autism Speaks event I helped translate information for many familes that only spoke spanish. Although spanish is a very common language spoken in my family I don’t always speak it properly. I often resort to using slang terms, but when I volunteered in los angeles I made sure to speak as if I were speaking to Senora Bernal with proper grammar and in a more formal manner.

In what ways have I shown perseverance and commitment to my activities?

Helping a 3rd Grade teacher grade papers:
For several weeks I’ve been helping a third grade teacher correct spelling tests and various worksheets for her classrooms. If I didn’t manage my time well enough this service would have became a burden very quickly. I always had to make sure I finished my homework first before I worked on correcting papers because it was very time consuming. Often times I would spend my weekends grading papers and helping with setting up art projects for the kids. It was a good experience and it made me realize the grear amount of time it takes teachers to grade papers. However, I enjoyed working for this teacher because a lot of her students were kids I tutored last year, so it was rewarding to be able to grade their papers and see the amount of progress they have been making. I really miss tutoring and I’m sad that I didn’t have the time to be able to start it up again, but its nice to still be involved with some of the same kids.

In what ways have I worked collaboratively?

Autism Speaks

When I volunteered at the first ever Autism Screening in Los Angeles I had the privilege of working with the organization, Autsim Speaks and many people who work for it. My job was mostly to help translate (considering most parents who showed up to the event were predominately of hispanic nationality and therefore only spoke spanish) and to take care of the siblings of children who were being screened for autism. It was a great experience and I was able to speak to many people from Autism Speaks about college and what routes to take to help with what I want to do in the future. It was very benefical for me because I was able to advice that was much needed from people in the field of study I wish to pursue.

In what ways have I been engaged in issues with global importance?

Autism Speaks

On September 7th I volunteered at the first ever Autism Screening in South Los Angeles at the Magnolia Place Family Center. This event was very personal to me because my 4 year old cousin has recently been diagnosed with Autism and as a result I’ve begun to educate myself more on a growing issue that was once something I was unfamiliar with. Autism is a world wide growing epidemic and what is worst is that there is not much awareness as there should be on the topic. Gratefully, I had the honor to be a part of such an amazing event that helped lower income families who had no health care and little to no education, screen their children for autism and direct them to the resources they need to deal with their child’s disability. The event was so popular it came out on various news broadcasts. In addition, the same event took place in Chicago on the same day at the same time. Ultimately, our goal was to be able to spread knowledge on Autism and make more people aware of what steps need to be taken to ensure their child coud control their difficulties rather than have them control them.

What are the ethical or moral implications of what I’m doing and learning?

Autism Speaks
Ultimately volunteering at the Autism Speaks event was very rewarding. Although my postion at the event was rather minute the fact that I got to help so many people regardless was very rewarding to me. It was a very hard time for some families considering that many children were diagnosed with Autism on the spot and many families were feeling an overwhelming feeling of emotions due to their child’s condition. However, in some cases I was able to comfort families and assure them that even though their child will face many diffilculties, their love and guidance will help make their child’s life journey with autism a little less stressful.

Creativity 5/31/2013

For about 4 to 5 months I’ve been helping a 3rd grade teacher at Badillo Elementary correct spelling tests, homework, and helped decorate her room for open house. About every other weekend she sends home classwork with my mom to give to me to correct. Although it doesn’t seem like much, a lot of the work is very time consuming and needs to be throughly reviewed. It helps give me a little understanding of what teachers endure every week. It’s nice to see how much she appreciates all of my help.

Service 5/31/2013

Starting on October 16 I began volunteering as a tutor at Badillo elementary. Every Tuesday since then I would go and tutor kids of different grade levels and make sure they did their homework. Although it was rather frustrating at times I enjoyed working with these kids. I mostly worked with second graders, but kids from a different grade had a question I was more than happy to help them too. Over time, it was really fulfilling to see their growth since tutoring had began. Many kids who never even tried to attempt doing their homework began being finished with it first. Some of their test scores began to increase and they were more motivated to study for tests because of the fun activities we’d give them to help them remember spelling words, math problems, and how to retain information when they read a story. It really made me feel good knowing how much these kids loved me & how attached I became to them. Even though I only saw them for an hour, once a week they became a part of me and throughout the week I’d think of different activities I could give them for the following week. It was a fun and fulfilling experience that I plan on continuing my senior year.

On March 16th I volunteered at a Dental Screening that took place at Cedargrove Elementary. My mom, sister, and I arrived at the school around 8 a.m. and we began to check in families to see a dentist due to their low incomes. Around 10 I moved to a different table where I had to give the kids a care package, a t-shirt, and I provided information to the parents about their child’s dental health. Some of the parents only spoke Spanish so I also provided translation services for them. It was nice seeing how appreciative the parents were of not only my help, but also that their children were able to receive dental care. The other volunteers and those who were in charge of organizing the dental screening were so nice to my sister and me and they helped make it a fun, enjoyable experience. It felt nice knowing I was a part of helping these people and their children.

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Action 5/31/2013

On April 20th I participated in the Autism Speaks Walk in Pasadena to honor my cousin, Tonalli Navarro, who was diagnosed with mild autism at the age of 3. We arrived in Pasadena around 7 in the morning to help set up tarps and chairs for my family and my cousin’s special needs preschool who also participated in the walk with us. The place was filled with families who also had a loved one diagnosed with autism. It was amazing to see these huge families there to support their loved ones. Many carried posters, had personalized t-shirts, and decorated strollers or carts. The walk went faster that I had expected it to considering it was the first walk I’ve ever done. It was such a nice experience to be able to talk with other families who had been affected by autism. It was very powerful to hear the struggles they face everyday and how they manage to overcome them. It made me realize that although my little cousin is going to be slower than most kids and face more difficulties, with the love and guidance of our family we can work as a team and help him overcome anything life throws at him. After we completed the walk, we strolled around the venue, played some games, enjoyed live music, and ate plenty of yummy junk food. It was definitely an overall amazing experience and a lot of fun! I plan on participating in it next year and I’m hoping to raise a lot of money on my own.

On April 5,6, and 7th I participated in lifeguard training class in Azusa. The first class was from 4 p.m. to 9 p.m. I received a huge lifeguard training handbook and for four hours we discussed the basics of becoming a lifeguard. Up until then, I never really understood the true dedication it takes to be a lifeguard. The instructor made me realize that being a lifeguard is a very serious position that requires a lot of attention and also team work. People’s lives can be at stake and it’s up to the lifeguards to make a quick, but logical resolution to the problem. On the second day class was from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. on this day we read some more of the handbook, but we also began to watch some clips provided by the Red Cross about different scenarios lifeguards go through and effective ways of overcoming an obstacle. We also learned different ways to enter the pool considering the type of injury that took place. We also went over different saving methods to ensure the victim’s injury does not get worse. Although, the class seemed like it was going on forever, there were some times it was very interesting. On the last day of class, which also lasted from 7 to 9 we put everything we learned into effect. First we took 3 tests to ensure we retained all the information that was given to use about different saving methods, who to call upon certain situations, how to handle situations such as a serious injury, heat stroke, allergic reactions, choking, etc. We practiced CPR on an adult dummy and on a baby dummy. We also learned how to use an AED machine. Afterwards we jumped in the pool and we practiced the different saving methods we learned. Although it was a very long class I enjoyed learning what it takes to be a lifeguard. The thought of saving lives and working under pressure like lifeguards do get my adrenaline pumping and get me excited to start working as a lifeguard soon.

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