How did you become a volunteer with your Madison House program?

I transferred to UVA in the Spring of 2011 from a small liberal arts school in Washington and went to the Winter Activities Fair to start getting involved. I remember talking to someone at the Madison House booth who helped me figure out what programs to sign up for and going home to sign up right after…it’s been great ever since!

Why did you chose your program? What do you like about it?

I volunteer with pre-k kids through Cavs in the Classroom. I love that I’ve stayed with the same teacher but am on my third group of great kids! I chose CITC because I love working with younger children; I think they bring a special joy to life with their willingness to learn and openness to experiencing new things. The look on their faces when they make a connection or realize they’ve really learned something is the most refreshing thing in the world. I love being there to witness that and to help facilitate it.

Tell us your best, funniest, or most educational experience as a Madison House volunteer.

I think my one of my favorite moments volunteering with CITC was at the end of last year when the teacher gave me one of the little class books with everyone’s name, picture and a few little facts about each student. As they were giving it to me, one little girl told me she wanted to be like “Miss Emily” when she grew up and that meant so much to me. But, it is always the highlight of my week to walk into the classroom and be greeted by 16 smiling faces that want a hug.

What is one thing you’d like readers to know about your program?

It has been one the best ways for me to connect to the Charlottesville community in a genuine and meaningful way. I learn just as much on the playground or at the art table with my kids each week as I do in some of my classes at UVA. It is amazing.

Emily Loranger is a 4th Year Women, Gender, and Sexuality and Sociology Major. She has volunteered with Madison House since her first year, Spring of 2011, and lives in Alaska. This summer she hiked the Kenai Peninsula and fished for salmon and halibut!

Madison House serves as the student volunteer center for University of Virginia students.

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