Student Honored as Youth Volunteer of the Year

Megan Williams succeeds in balancing a full course load, a part-time internship and a full-time job.

Williams said the Texas Tech coursework material she learned has helped her tremendously when working with children.

Williams said the Texas Tech coursework material she learned has helped her tremendously when working with children.

Time management served one Texas Tech human development and family studies major well while she gave back to the Lubbock community.

Working full time at Wells Fargo, taking a full course load and a part-time internship with Lubbock Early Learning Centers was a lot to balance for senior Megan Williams. However, despite her time constraints, Williams’ work impressed the staff at New Directions, where she worked more than 90 hours last fall, so much they named her Youth Volunteer of the Year.

Joanne Cotter, Lubbock Early Learning Centers executive director, said Williams really impressed the New Directions community with her desire to serve them well, especially since they knew she was a full-time student with a full-time job.

“During her volunteer time she worked in the office assisting the director, in the classrooms with infants and toddlers implementing lesson plans and addressing their individual needs, and she even worked in the kitchen learning how to prepare bottles, baby food and meals for hungry children,” Cotter said.

New Directions caters to teenage moms and their kids, a cause that has found a place in Williams’ heart.

“I saw them come in and out, and I heard the stories and backgrounds. I was always asking, what’s their story,” Williams said. “Whenever I would find out a kid wasn’t there anymore, like something happened to them or the mom wasn’t coming to school anymore, that made me sad. I feel bad for the kid, and I feel bad for the mother because I know they’re going to have a rough life if she doesn’t finish school.”

Williams said material she learned in Texas Tech coursework helped her tremendously when working with her favorite age group, birth to one year.

“I was constantly thinking about what I learned in my classes while I was working with them,” Williams said.  “I’m a hands-on learner, so it definitely kind of helps me connect everything. Everything I learned in the books and from my professors, I kind of get to experience and see for myself.”

Texas Tech Professor Nancy Bell oversaw Williams’ internship as part of a community practicum course. She commented that courses like this allow students extensive involvement in a community setting have the goal of applying theory and skills learned in the classroom to a professional setting while developing career skills, awareness and possibilities.

“It just made me realize how important these kinds of organization are,” Williams said.  “You don’t think about them every day, but it really is so important for community to like get involved and help these people who need the help, whether it be kids or teenage moms or abused wives.”

The Youth Volunteer of the Year award is given to a young adult who stood out to the Lubbock Early Learning Centers for outstanding volunteer work.

“I feel very honored,” Williams said.

A ceremony honoring this year's award recipients, including Williams, will take place from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Wednesday (April 18) during the Champions for Children Banquet at the Lubbock Country Club.

College of Human Sciences

The College of Human Sciences at Texas Tech University provides multidisciplinary education, research and service focused on individuals, families and their environments for the purpose of improving and enhancing the human condition.

The college offers degrees in:

The college also offers graduate programs leading to the Master of Science and Doctor of Philosophy degrees.

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