March 2017 Volunteer Spotlight: Danielle Miles-Langaigne

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A senior at Boston Latin Academy, Danielle joined Boston Cares in 2014 as a member of the Teen Advisory Council (TAC). On top of a rigorous academic schedule and in addition to her extracurricular commitments (Danielle is the Senior Class President and member of the Model UN), she has been a committed member of the Boston Cares community.  Danielle first began volunteering to fulfill a school requirement, and she hoped to get the most out of the experience by finding opportunities that offered her a variety of experiences. “Boston Cares gives you the ability to focus on different issues that interest you but you don’t know as much about.” As a high school seniors, this is Danielle’s final year with TAC and she says her commitment to volunteering has forever been changed. Boston Cares provided her with the outlets to explore her passions and volunteering has now become an essential part of her life. She says she will continue to serve when she goes away to college and throughout her life. Thank you for your service, Danielle, we will miss you next year!

Our Interview with Danielle

Learn more about the programs and opportunities Danielle has enjoyed as a teen volunteer!

Teen Advisory Council (TAC)

Q: How would you describe TAC to others?

Danielle: “I would describe TAC as a community service group of 10-12 teens who serve Boston in different ways each year. In addition to volunteering throughout the year, TAC’s service culminates in an end of the year project [at Global Youth Service Day].”

Q: Could you share a little more about the end of the year project- have you had a favorite so far?

Danielle: “TAC’s end of the year project is one of the best parts of TAC because it is a way for us as a group to find a way to design and implement a project that we believe is meaningful. It’s important for teens to be involved and take the initiative to make an impact. My favorite project was the Buddy Bench…we designed, built and decorated a bench with encouraging messages then donated it to a school in Dorchester. These projects are something only TAC does and it allows our group to focus on different impact areas.”

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Boston Cares’ 2016-2017 Teen Advisory Council

TAC offers teens interested in leadership and volunteerism opportunities to connect with others who share their interests while participating in service projects. TAC members meet once a month from August to May. Members of TAC help brainstorm and implement the projects for Global Youth Service Day alongside Boston Cares staff. Learn more about TAC and sign up for this year’s Global Youth Service Day!

Learn & Serve

Q: Could you share a favorite moment from your time with Boston Cares?

Danielle: “Last year I did the April Learn & Serve. It was an environmentally focused project and I really liked cleaning the Greenway. The space went from having cigarettes and litter to looking so nice. It just felt great.”

Q: Do you have any advice or words of wisdom you want to share with new volunteers or volunteers in general?

Danielle: “I’d advise new volunteers not to stay in the confines of their comfort zone. I’d use the Learn & Serve last year as an example. I hadn’t participated in environmentally focused projects and it was a little intimidating to participate in a week-long service experience focused on environmental concerns. However, I ended up loving the project and the experience made me more conscientious too.”

Boston Cares offers Learn & Serve experiences for teens ages 13-18 as a local, service-oriented, alternative school break. Boston Cares is currently accepting applications for this year’s April Learn & Serve. Click here to learn more and get your applications in soon!

Days of Service

Q: What are your favorite projects to volunteer at with Boston Cares?

Danielle: “My favorite projects are the Days of Service because they provide the ability to meet and speak to people you might not normally. Days of Service are special because there is an increased sense of community that you get by coming together as a large group from all walks of life to give back.”

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Danielle and Mayor Marty Walsh at Boston Cares’ 2017 Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service

Boston Cares mobilizes volunteers on nationally recognized Days of Service as a way for communities to come together in an effort to give back. Learn more here.

Why Volunteer?

Q: Why do you think other young people should volunteer with Boston Cares, or anyone for that matter?

Danielle: “Although BC is a large agency, volunteers don’t slip through the cracks and volunteers aren’t lost. BC helps new volunteers focus their searches for projects that speak to them and offers many ways for volunteers to experiment with what they are passionate about. Because of TAC volunteering has now become an essential part of my life and I want to keep on serving in college and throughout my life”

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TAC at 2015 Global Youth Service Day

As she plans for college next year, Danielle hopes to perform service work in Africa and is interested in exploring her university’s alternative spring break programs. Before she leaves the Boston area she would also like to visit more museums and enjoy more of Boston’s cultural offerings.

To learn more about volunteering with Boston Cares, visit our website at www.bostoncares.org

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