How a Student from China Became a Volunteer at the Pacific Science Center in Seattle (and Why She Loves It!)

Yueheng Feng volunteers at the Pacific Science Center in Seattle

I’m Yueheng Feng, an international student from China studying at Shoreline Community College. Five months ago, when I just arrived in Seattle, I was excited and eager to try to adapt to this new environment as quickly as possible. I wanted to get involved not just on campus with different activities but also in the community to expand my social circles. Luckily, I learned about volunteering at the Pacific Science Center from our China Specialist, Ms. Linda Du. She told me about what it is like to volunteer there and encouraged me to apply for it. Of course I would try it because I have always loved exploring in the science centers and I enjoy the chance to help others.

Pacific Science Center in Seattle, WA Photo by Ron Clausen [CC BY-SA 4.0]

Very soon after submitting my application, I received an email for the volunteer interview. It was a group interview, which was not as intimidating as I thought. It was just an opportunity for us to meet the Volunteer Coordinators and get to know each other because we might volunteer together in the future. Some of the questions asked at the interview were difficult for me to understand in the beginning, but I tried my best to be brave in a group setting, shared my opinions and expressed myself in English. When I didn’t understand a question, I listened to others and then tried to figure out what the question was asking for. If I still couldn’t understand the question, I just asked the staff and they would ask me again in an easier way. I passed the interview and completed the New Volunteer Orientation in November! By now, I have volunteered as a Guest Ambassador for more than 20 hours. Because of a temporary change with this particular volunteer program, I just re-applied and became a Tinker Tank volunteer recently.

     Before I started volunteering at Pacific Science Center, some friends told me that it would not be easy to be a volunteer there. Even many university students and local high school students want to volunteer there, and I just started learning ESL at that time. I think being confident in myself is very important. I know this is out of my comfort zone and I still need to keep improving myself, but I know I can do this better and better!   

     The Pacific Science Center is located in Seattle Center next to the Space Needle. It takes me about one hour to get there by bus. Volunteers can get bus passes for commuting there. Whenever I’m not too busy with school, I sign up for volunteering shifts. Being a volunteer there is very interesting and fun. I like to engage with guests by asking them questions to start the interaction. There are also many free cookies, candies and chocolates for volunteers. I can also grab a hot beverage for free as another volunteer benefit. Of course the meaningful experience of being a volunteer is way beyond this. People at the Pacific Science Center are very friendly. Other staff and volunteers would help me when I don’t know the answers.

     The Pacific Science Center is a great place. If you want to be a volunteer, you should go there and try! I would regret if I didn’t sign up to be a volunteer there!

To learn more about different volunteer opportunities and apply online, just go to: www.pacificsciencecenter.org/volunteers/

MLK Week at Shoreline

Celebrate Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. at Shoreline Community College. Learn about the events and opportunities happening around campus for students, staff, and faculty to get involved.

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Tuesday, January 16, 9:00am – 3:00pm: Volunteering at Mary’s Place

Join Student Life as we honor MLK Jr. by serving our community. We will be volunteering at Mary’s Place from 9am-3pm (2-hour shifts). Mary’s Place provides housing, employment, and wellness resources for women and families experiencing homelessness in Seattle. For more information and to sign up, visit the Student Life Volunteering Page.

Wednesday, January 17, 12:30pm – 2:30pm PUB 9208: Keynote Speaker: Nikkita Oliver

Nikkita Oliver is an organizer, educator, teaching-artist, and attorney. She has been actively involved in social justice movements including Black Lives Matter and No Youth Jail. In 2015, she received the Artist Human Rights Leader Award from the City of Seattle for her artist and activist work. Last year, Oliver ran for Mayor with the Peoples Party of Seattle – a collection of community and civic leaders, lawyers, artists, activists, and teachers.

Thursday, January 18, 12:30pm – 2:30pm PUB Lounge: BSU Open Mic

Inspired by MLK Jr.’s work and legacy, this open mic invites the campus community to collectively explore and critically think about social justice through artistic expression.

Thursday, January 25, 2:00pm – 4:30pm PUB 9208: Social Justice Collective Open House

The Social Justice Collective is committed to creating a campus climate that values equity and social justice at its core. We are a new group that will be recruiting members from all over campus. Come to this meet and greet! Come for pizza! Learn more about social justice and how to participate in social justice on campus. ALL are welcome!

– Meg Humphrey (event descriptions from the events calendar)