April 04, 2022

How volunteers impact TGR Foundation’s students, programs and mission

Volunteers impact organizations far greater than the average individual might expect. Their professional experiences, viewpoints, skills and attitudes can expand our horizons. Working with individuals with a passion for supporting and uplifting others makes any role exciting and entertaining. Confucius once said, “Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life.” That is precisely what I feel when working with our TGR Learning Lab volunteers and interns.

Over the past two years serving as the volunteer coordinator, I have interacted with the TGR Learning Lab volunteers and interns, from recruitment to supervision. I have enjoyed the working relationships that have blossomed.

My philosophy when supervising anyone is to allow meaningful interactions and effective communication. By doing so, I have gained much knowledge of who our volunteers are, what their goals are and what ambitions they have. Doing this allows me to be more knowledgeable about how to support them in their roles best and share any opportunities that will enable them to grow and prosper.

Furthermore, my favorite aspect of working with the volunteers and interns is getting to understand who they are. I have directly worked with more than fifty incredible individuals in these past two years and updated our extensive database of individuals who have dedicated their time and energy to our students and programs. I enjoy listening to their interactions with students and staff and hearing about their life updates. Understanding who our volunteers and interns holistically allows me to understand how I can be the best of service to them.

For many, volunteering their time to organizations can be tricky. Considering how much individuals have on their plates and all the responsibilities that eat up the day, having time to give back to a community or organization can seem excessive. However, when speaking to our Learning Lab volunteers about why they enjoy their experience, they all tie back to a similar motivating factor: the students. Working with the students and seeing their reactions to the programs we offer makes it all worth it, especially considering that they have played a role in that satisfaction.

All volunteers’ efforts are meaningful. Whether they are in the classroom, supporting with administrative tasks, working on independent projects or research, their work continues to impact the overarching mission of TGR Foundation. While my role focuses on providing volunteers and interns to support our programs, my goal is to ensure they are also enjoying their experiences and gaining what they hope to from their time with us.

I would like to thank every TGR Foundation volunteer over the past 16 years. All have aided in the success of our programs. Their presence in makes it more robust and adds extra value to the experience of our students and community. We’re thankful for their continued support and all they do.



Jose Rivera coordinates TGR Learning Lab volunteer and internship opportunities for students, in addition to corporate and community volunteers. He is an alumnus of the University of California, Irvine, currently pursuing a master’s degree in education with a concentration in higher education to guide students through academic and student affairs.