Volunteer Activities

Wado-Ki Karate

I have been practicing Wado-Ki Karate since I was very young, around 4 years old, and attended (almost) every single class for years even partially through college, totaling around 14-15 years. I remember my first day of class not wanting to leave my mother’s side because of my fear of the unknown, having no idea of what to expect to placing in tournaments, demonstrating kata, and (almost) winning sparring matches.

Every karate class started with the same mantra… “Wado-ki is my secret. I bear no weapons. In the way of the peaceful spirit. I pray we may never have to use it.”
Karate taught me not only self-discipline and self-defense but also taught me perseverance as I stuck with it through the sunshine, rain, and snow for over a decade. Karate also taught me how to teach others and that in order to teach, you must understand the concepts yourself. You cannot teach what you do not fully understand yourself.

– Taekwondo –

After a long break from Karate due to other life circumstances, I decided to take back up martial arts, but not right back into what I knew…no. I needed something that would be a challenge, something that I (honestly) didn’t really want to do. So I took up Taekwondo, the wonderful art of (almost) never using your hands 😂.

The main reason behind this was to strengthen what was a known weak spot of mine…kicks and flexibility (don’t take notes potential sparring mates!). And naturally, the best way to get better at something is to do it.

Thankfully, my 16 years of Karate experience helped a TON here and I was able to rise up the ranks pretty quickly. As of the time of this writing, I’m not a black belt (yet) but am quickly approaching it.

Practicing and teaching martial arts is one of the ways of giving back my time and one of my passions to the community as I am also blessed to be able to teach this art to any new students who join for their first class.

STEM Academy through CHANCE

During my sophomore year in college, I assisted other ambassadors of the CHANCE program in supervising CPS students through STEM academy. STEM Academy was designed to give the students a fun, hands-on look into topics that would be covered in high school and early college, but broken down to their level. The students went through English classes where they wrote sample college entrance essays, did programming with Scratch, and took a tour of the UIC campus to get a feel for how a college campus looks, runs and feels. (I must say, some of them were definitely NOT prepared for all the walking!).

Working with these students taught me that the work of being a supervisor is not a sit-down job. You are always doing something. If it isn’t overseeing the activities and being genuinely interested in what is going on, it is staying in touch with other co-workers about their whereabouts, ETA’s, and ensuring that all the planned activities go as smoothly and uninterrupted as possible. On top of this, reporting back to sponsors exactly what is going on so they are not proverbially ‘out-in-left-field’ when it comes to updates on the event

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