VOLUNTEER SPOTLIGHT: Meet Lucia Watler
What about the mission of GiGi’s Playhouse appeals to you, personally?
A place that is striving to create global acceptance for all is something that I can really get behind because no person should ever be treated different for who they are or what they look like.
What do you love about being at GiGi’s? What keeps you coming back?
I love how welcoming the participants, families, and staff are. What keeps me coming back is the fact that no day at the Playhouse is ever the same. Every participant and every family grows every time they come to a program at the GiGi’s Playhouse, and I enjoy being part of that growth.
I am a senior at the University of Houston and will be receiving my Bachelor’s of Science in Public Health. I hope to one day be the founder of my own non-profit. I’m excited to see where my time with GiGi’s Playhouse Houston may take me and excited to continue to volunteer as the GiGi’s Kitchen Program Lead.
Hi Luci, What are some of your favorite hobbies and interests?
When I am not volunteering at GiGi’s or working at H-E-B, I am usually at my loft on campus reading a book or rewatching my favorite TV series.
How did you find out about GiGi’s Playhouse?
I found out about GiGi’s Playhouse through one of the Public Health courses that I am taking at the University of Houston. We had to complete an internship for the course, and I chose to complete mine at GiGi’s Playhouse Houston.
How has volunteering here impacted your life?
Volunteering at GiGi’s has allowed me to broaden my horizons and learn new skills. I am usually one to stay to myself and not really talk much to others but since I have been volunteering here, I have begun to come out of my little shell and am open to interacting more with others not only at the Playhouse but everywhere I go.
Do you have a favorite memory from volunteering?
I have only been at GiGi’s for a short time, but I have been able to make many great memories with the individuals and staff here. I think my favorite memory has to have come from the Valentine’s Day party we recently had. Each and every single one of the adults came dressed to impress and they were so excited to give valentine’s cards to all of their friends. I think the best part about the party was when everyone broke into dance. The guys love dancing to grease lighting. They each even know the choreography that goes with the song.
What would you say is the biggest misconception about individuals with Down syndrome?
I think the biggest misconception about individuals with Down syndrome is that they cannot lead full lives, but that is far from true. I believe places like GiGi’s Playhouse and the programs they offer allow these individuals to be able to build loving relationships with other individuals that come here, as well as build a healthy lifestyle for themselves.
Why do you believe people with Down syndrome are an important part of our community?
People with Down syndrome are no different from any other person. Every individual makes an impact in this world, and they do too. Without them here we have one less personality and one less individual here trying to make the world a better place to live in every day.
What would you say to someone who is considering volunteering at GiGi’s Playhouse?
Definitely just go for it! GiGi’s Playhouse is a place where all are welcome and no one is ever left out. The playhouse is a safe haven for many and if you want to volunteer here you must be willing to accept every individual that walks through the door.
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