1. Where are you from?
Canton Massachusetts; currently reside in Attleboro.
2. What is something that most people don’t know about you?
Learning and academics have always been SO hard for me. I practically failed out of high school with no academic support (IEP’s, etc.) And yet here I am finishing my Master’s degree and volunteering for a great organization.
3. What do you love about volunteering?
Meeting new people and hearing their backgrounds and learning new things. But most importantly, putting a smile on these kiddos’ faces!
4. How did you hear about ATC?
Tara and Mike invited my friend Justine to join. When I caught wind, I asked to try it out for a day. Next thing you know I’m kind of hooked!
5. What made you want to become a volunteer for ATC?
I was struggling with some depression and I wanted to do something that would not only help myself but others. ATC helped put my life into perspective and “not sweat the small stuff.”
6. How long have you been involved with ATC?
I became involved in the summer of 2018.
7. Do you remember your first time volunteering for ATC? How was it?
Yes, it was great. I was nervous about making too much of a commitment at first. But then, I remember taking photographs of the children and only thinking, “I wish I could have more responsibility and more involvement.” (when I told Tara this — BOOM–, the next thing I knew I was a flight coordinator!)
8. What is your most memorable experience with ATC?
This past weekend I was able to work with a child diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder. I am currently a Behavior Therapist in Newton Public Schools. I am finishing up my Master’s degree specializing in Autism. It was great taking what I know and applying it to such a special organization. I was able to create a social story to help the children further understand what to expect on their flight day. My child this weekend was BEYOND excited and thrilled to be on an airplane. Words will never be able to describe what that looks like. You must experience it for yourself.
9. How do you think ATC is changing lives?
Many children at ATC have experienced challenges and struggles that are beyond describable. ATC provides them a day to let go of those negative emotions and feelings and allow them to have the fun they deserve. Next, ATC provides the children with choices; such as where they want to fly! They also have an opportunity to fly the plane themselves. Giving the children choices and “ control” is so important. It gives them that confidence and feeling of success before the day has even started! Speaking of control, they are even able to check the fuel in the airplane! The entire experience from the flight, to the photo op, and fun secret prizes at the end keeps the children guessing throughout the day!
11. Is there something I haven’t asked you that you would like to say about ATC?
Although I haven’t been involved at ATC for long, the support team and crew is growing TREMENDOUSLY. My mom has even come to participate and take pictures! There is no such thing as “too little work.” Everyone who comes is providing great support and love for these children. Participation can range from just showing up and cheering a kiddo on for an hour, to becoming a flight coordinator and creating social stories for the children. Every little bit counts. I never thought i’d become this attached, but after experiencing ATC in person, I can’t imagine not going back.
12. Describe ATC is one word.