Hometown: Danville, CA
Program Position: Special Pals Coordinator | CAVE
Maxwell arrived on campus as a freshman ready to sample an array involvement opportunities. “I really wanted to be a part of campus and the Chico community since this was going to be my new home.” Of all the connections he made, CAVE was the one that stuck. Maxwell volunteered in both CAVE’s Tutorial program and Excel Program where he interacted with youth at the Chico Boys and Girls Club through recreational activities.
Once he found his niche at CAVE, Maxwell applied and was hired to be a group leader for the Special Pals program his sophomore year. As Maxwell describes it, “the program works with the protected population of children with special needs – anyone who might be struggling academically or socially.” His first semester as a group leader, he recruited, interviewed, and managed a caseload of 26 volunteers who were matched one-on-one with a child. For Maxwell the most rewarding part of the job was, “hearing the great stories volunteers brought back about making a difference in the lives of kids.”
After a year of group leader experience under his belt, it was a natural step for Maxwell to move up to be the program coordinator. In this capacity he supervises three other group leaders and is responsible for making all the matches between volunteers and children to insure the best fit. He is most proud of the fact that the program has more volunteers this year than in the any of the three previous years. “We have 100% placement of 52 children at various school sites in Chico.” He’s also very excited to be working with a cadre of 25 credential students who are getting valuable first-hand experience in classrooms by being Special Pals volunteers.
Maxwell finds his CAVE role to be a very fulfilling one. He enjoys meeting faculty, learning about other AS programs, and becoming aware of other campus opportunities for involvement. The managerial experience he gets at CAVE complements his major’s option, Entrepreneurial and Small Business. “I’m learning management skills and how to take ownership of my program.”
The future for Maxwell is wide open. He would like to start a business of his own – perhaps something in on-line retail since he has previous experience in that realm. Whatever path he chooses, Maxwell’s hallmark commitment will be evident.
In Maxwell’s words:
“I bring enthusiasm and passion to CAVE. I really care. I love volunteer service and re-energizing the community by bringing my personal vision.”