An interview with Raquel Torres
How did you hear of verbo?
I heard about verbo through my parents. My dad participated a good amount in the indoor soccer program as well as my mom did a lot of volunteering with verbo leading me to participate as well.
What programs did you participate in?
I participated in Kids touchdown camp and volunteering services with verbo.
How has this helped your family?
Verbo has helped my family tremendously. It has helped my family to connect deeply with our community. It has helped my mom to better understand the different perspectives of other families in my community and motivate her to do more for the community. She has participated in numerous volunteering events with verbo, ranging from setting up chairs for events to aiding the redwood city police department in distributing information on covid to people who are most at risk during the pandemic. Through verbo she was able to meet a multitude of people from vastly ranging backgrounds to assist the community. I can say with confidence that she would have never achieved these opportunities if verbo was not around.
As for my dad he gained many new perspectives from volunteering at verbo alongside playing in an indoor soccer team at verbo. I remember as a kid many people of different backgrounds of Spanish speaking nations would band together to participate in an indoor soccer tournament. It was an incredibly fun experience to watch my dad play on a soccer team. I was able to see the passion everyone had to win for their respective teams. It was a memorable moment because no one had any hatred for one another but genuine joy of seeing one another every night to play a match of soccer against one another. What stuck with me was that everyone who played every sunday was somebody who had a connection to verbo. Some had children in the touchdown camp program, frequently went to Sunday church and participated in volunteering work for verbo and other organizations. My dad was able to better connect with his community and regularly engage in activities he had a passion for. To this day he still continues to play soccer games in our community.
From my experience verbo has helped me into shaping me to help my community whenever possible. Since I was young I participated in Kids touchdown camp. I remembered the excitement and joy I had every summer when I went to the camp. The program itself allowed me to experience new opportunities that I have never tried. One opportunity I tried was going on a stage and acting for the first time. I was given the opportunity by one of the leaders of the program in which they asked me if I would like to act in a skit. Normally I would have rejected it as I had stage fright but in the moment I accepted it. When I was given the role and instruction of what to do my heart nervously raced. I felt nervous and embarrassed but I persisted with the skit. After the skit I felt a large amount of embarrassment but what stood out to me the most was that I was happy. I realize that even if I was embarrassed and frightened of a large audience I was glad that I acted.
I was never intimidated by the leader but was kindly pushed to try out new experiences. Had it not been their kindness and them not giving up on me I would have never tried out acting. To this day this experience has helped me to take on any opportunity that comes in my way with confidence. Year after year I continued to go to kids touchdown camp until it was my turn to become a leader for kids touch camp
Throughout my journey of becoming an adult I have continuously helped my mom with volunteering work. From my time at Verbo I was able to connect with different organizations like the redwood city police department and help them with volunteering work. I was able to help in cleaning the streets of redwood city, wrapping christmas gifts from families every year on christmas eve, distributing information on covid during the pandemic to families at risk, and ect. All of the years of volunteering has helped me to gain many skills and experiences working in independent and team oriented tasks. Alongside helped to better strengthen my opportunities in looking favorable to universities and job opportunities.
When you talk to your friends about verbo what do you tell them?
I talk about all the wonderful opportunities they can receive from verbo. They can receive volunteering work opportunities that help them to gain many new skills and experiences many universities and jobs look for. As well as they could enroll their family members to a summer camp free of charge. The summer camps offer fun activities for children,food and education. Furthermore they have a pantry that in my experience help me to not worry about food during the pandemic and now.