Volunteer Spotlight: Evan Kereiakes

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In honor of National Volunteer Week, The Children’s Aid Societyis shining a spotlight on Evan Kereiakes who has volunteered at The Children’s Aid Society as a Project LIVE Mentor at our East Harlem Center and is also a member of the Associates Council.  Project LIVE is a mentoring program that helps link dynamic and positive individuals with middle school students to help them make a successful transition into high school and beyond. Mentors not only provide academic support but also help youth with self-esteem issues and to explore career options.

Diana Matias, Educational Coordinator at The East Harlem Center says:

While he was here he made an impact in our program and we miss having him here. Miriam is the lead facilitator for Project LIVE and worked directly with him. She informed me that Evan was a wonderful mentor, coach and motivator. He helped his mentee think outside the box and push herself to her potential. Under his guidance, his mentee gained true leadership skills and team building qualities. She reached her true potential under his supervision.

Below, Evan shares his feelings on volunteering and working with the youth at The Children’s Aid Society.

What motivated you to volunteer at The Children’s Aid Society?

I liked the mission of the organization and thought it fit well with my desire to have a positive impact on the lives of kids from all types of backgrounds.

What keeps you coming?

The people who run the organization and the volunteers themselves are very caring and professional. Children’s Aid has deep roots in the NY community so it’s easy to have a more direct impact thanks to all the hard work that has built the organization over the years.

What do you enjoy most about your volunteer experience here?

The best part of volunteering with kids in Harlem is watching them grow and learn from week to week. Being a mentor means contributing to this development, which is rewarding.

What have you learned or how have you personally been affected from your experience at Children’s Aid?

I've learned how important it is to volunteer.

Why do you think it is important to volunteer in the community?

Volunteering keeps you grounded and connected to the broader community. Especially if you have a college education, it's important to spend at least a few hours every month giving back and working with kids who are also striving to achieve their goals and go to college.

Is there anyone that has inspired or mentored you along the way that has influenced your decision to volunteer?

I'm thankful that my parents signed me up for volunteer opportunities at a young age.

Do you have an inspirational story you can briefly share about your volunteer experience at CAS?  Please share with us!

It was very nice to see my mentee had changed some of her afterschool habits and started doing her science homework.

What are some of your hobbies? (Optional)

Biking, enjoying the outdoors, reading, traveling, cooking, playing piano

Featured image: Evan with an East Harlem participant