Redefining What it Means to Volunteer

Volunteers are a key force behind Maydm’s mission to excite students about STEM. At a few of our sessions at the Boys and Girls Club, volunteer Cathie Malin demonstrated what it takes to be an inspiration to our students. Cathie is the Infrastructure Planning and Engineering Director at American Family Insurance. She shared her thoughts with us on her recent volunteering experience:

“Thanks to Maydm, I had the pleasure to work with some great kids at the Boys and Girls Club of Dane County.  We worked with kids from age 5-8 to teach them technical concepts and basic computer coding skills.  The kids used an application called Swift Playgrounds to manipulate shapes by changing radius, color and other configurations.  I was thrilled to see the kids get excited when they realized they were able to control how the shapes were drawn.  The kids were a bit apprehensive at first, questioning why they couldn’t use the iPads to play their favorite videos on YouTube, but

as they worked together and explored the different shapes and variables needed to create those shapes, I could see light bulbs go on.  I find it incredibly gratifying to see the pride on a student’s face when something they struggled to get working finally succeeded.  I feel that pride will carry forward to future activities they engage in and hope that some will find their way into the world of computer programming.

What a great experience and fun way to get kids familiar with computer coding concepts. Thank you Maydm and Boys and Girls club for this unique opportunity!” 

Cathie represents one of many perspectives that Maydm is honored to share with students. We want to thank our volunteers as well as the brilliance and ambition that came together at the Boys and Girls Club. We saw some amazing growth across the groups of students. For the younger group sessions, each of which lasted only 45 minutes, Maydm’s interactive projects displayed an overall 60% acquisition improvement in technical knowledge—and this is only the beginning! We look forward to continuing to work with the greater Madison community, its inspiring mentors, and our students.

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