Volunteering in the Tallahassee Community

By: Karen Duarte - Published: February 11, 2019

By: Karen Duarte - Published: February 11, 2019

Sophomore Mageda Nader excels in her service work within the Tallahassee community and plans on bringing more volunteer opportunities to Phi Eta Sigma.

Nader was inducted to the Phi Eta Sigma National Honor Society in spring 2018. During the fall semester, she joined the recruitment leadership council committee, where she formed new emails to send out to recruits. With a passion for volunteering, this semester she decided to join the community service and fundraising committee.

From Daytona Beach, FL, Nader started volunteering in high school and since then leadership community service has been her passion. 

Last semester the community service committee adopted a road, and this semester they hope to invite all members to contribute and help with clean-ups.

“I plan on encouraging people to sign up for things like Relay for Life and partnering with the local Leon Library and the Girls and Boys Club,” Nader said. “Since I am new to the leadership council committee, I hope to bring Engage TLH and other events that the Center for Leadership and Social Change promote.”

Nader is a facilitator for Engage TLH, which is a community outreach program through the Center of Leadership and Social Change at Florida State University. Engage TLH provides transportation to and from volunteer sites within the Tallahassee community. The trips range from tutoring in the foster care system, community gardening, feeding the homeless at a local shelter, and much more.

When Nader is not facilitating trips with Engage TLH, she is volunteering at Boys Town every Thursday.

Boys Town is dedicated to serving foster children and families. The children range from 10 to 18 years old. The group home has a campus of five houses, which consists of boys’ and girls’ homes, a basketball court, pool, and a giant tree with a swing. Boys Town teaches students essential life and social skills to prepare them for the future. They also provide training classes and events for foster parents and their children in the Tallahassee area. On site or off site, all foster children and families are welcomed to attend the events Boys Town hosts.

“I have been volunteering at Boys Town since September of 2018. The children get super excited when I visit because they know me by now, so I ask them how their week has been and what are they learning in class. Also, I love seeing their academic progress and forming special relationships with each of them,” Nader expressed. “There is a student I love so much. She is literally so great and will hand me a book and ask if I can read to her.”

The one-on-one interactions are the best part of volunteering because not only do the students gain knowledge but the volunteers can be a leader and learner at the same time.

“As the facilitator, I do not just drop off and pick up students at the volunteer sites. I facilitate conversation, ‘What did you do,’ ‘How did this volunteering trip make you feel,” and ‘How does what you’re doing affect the community?’ This helps improve my leadership skills.”

There are many volunteer opportunities, and Nader’s goal is to get Phi Eta Sigma members out of the FSU bubble and connect members with the Tallahassee community.

Nader has gained transferable skills that she hopes to apply in her post-graduation endeavors.

“I love museum studies and hope to work at a museum or art center. I would like to do outreach events and partner with elementary, middle, and high schools. Working with the younger generation and fundraising to raise money for events are all skills that I can utilize in the future. “

Nader’s volunteer work is a clear example of an active Phi Eta Sigma member taking initiative on and off campus. Through her service and connections, she hopes to encourage her leadership committee and other Phi Eta Sigma members to participate in volunteer work.