Kelsey Sizer ’12 is spending the term volunteering at the Magnolia Center with Campus Kitchen for her Poverty 102 field work placement.
For my first trip to the Magnolia Center, I was nervous about interacting with the staff and the clients. When we walked in a couple of the participants ran to the door to greet us and a few of them introduced themselves and gave us hugs. I had no idea what the facility would look like, how many clients would be there, or how they would react to me. I was pleasantly surprised to find the building quainter than I imagined and the clients friendlier. After we plated meals and served water, we sat down at the tables with the participants. One client, Rusty* showed me around the stage where they, as a theater troupe, The Magnolia Players, put on a play twice a year. It was interesting to see the clients each expressing themselves differently, even those who could not speak coherently. As I find out more about the program and what it provides, I realize how necessary centers like the Magnolia Center are for people with mental and physical disabilities. I have never found myself in a situation like this, so I found everything fascinating. I am really glad I chose the Magnolia Center as my class placement because I am really looking forward to returning and continuing to develop relationships with the clients, as well as the staff. I know the more time I spend there, the more comfortable I will feel and the more I will learn about the people there.