Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Wallyball, Cambodian-Americans and Smart Thursdays

Where is Inn Gee Kim on a Monday afternoon? Playing wallyball, of course! But why is this busy senior, studying political science and philosphy and an intern with Gordon in Lynn playing walleyball?

Twice a week, Inn Gee volunteers at KAYA, an after-school program for Cambodian American middle and high school students with his Gordon in Lynn internship. “I wanted to apply the idea of service much emphasized in the Gordon classroom,” says Inn Gee.
Gordon in Lynn (GIL) is a partnership between Gordon and the city of Lynn and allows students to work with various community organizations within the city, learning to serve others in a diverse urban environment.

On Mondays, the kids exercise and play sports at the local YMCA. The interns try to plan unique games like wallyball and a twist on ultimate Frisbee involving two crates and a ball. On “Smart Thursdays” they help the students with homework and put on a 15-20 minute educational workshop. “KAYA is important because it creates community,” says Inn Gee. “The youth that come form strong bonds with one another. The kids' love and respect for one another amaze me every week.”

A few weeks ago, Inn Gee’s roommate mentioned that cellist students at Gordon are looking for a place to perform. That gave Inn Gee an idea--why not make “Smart Thursdays” a little more interesting and put on cello concert? This is in the works--he wants the Gordon cellists to play a few songs for the kids and lead a short discussion about music.

Originally from the Philippines, Inn Gee has been able to form a unique bond with the American-Cambodian kids through their common Southeast-Asian background. He even brought back some dried mangoes from the Philippines to share with the kids, which they absolutely loved! “The relationships that I have formed with the kids at KAYA are by far the most rewarding thing about my internship,” he says. Though he’s not sure what God has planned for him in the future, he hopes to always be attentive to others and help those in need.

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