Volunteer Spotlight – Solei

Youth Board Volunteer Solei

Have you ever wonder what its like to be a volunteer at GiGi’s Playhouse San Diego from a youth’s standpoint? Well we have a that right here for you. Welcome to our awesome Youth Board Volunteer Solei! She’s such a power house!

Solei has been volunteering with us since early 2022 and has been making her unique mark ever since. We asked her to share some insight and we would love to share that with you, the reader.

  1. How did you hear about GiGi’s Playhouse/GiGi’s Playhouse San Diego? 

I initially heard about Gigi’s Playhouse through my brother Enzo, who had been invited to join along with his friend for one of Gigi’s Fantastic Friends programs. After his initial visit, he continued to attend programs at the Playhouse as he loved the supportive and playful community provided there. During my junior year of high school, I felt motivated to involve myself more directly with my local community. This marked the period in which I sent in my application as a volunteer at Gigi’s Playhouse. (We love that inclusivness!!)

  1. What inspired you to volunteer? 

Having a brother with cerebral palsy, I have noticed how valuable a welcoming, encouraging, and specially-curated environment is to him. Hearing about and observing the immediate change Gigi’s Playhouse has on the lives of a wide range of individuals inspired me to become a part of its community, not only to contribute to the lives of those around me but to broaden my knowledge surrounding differently-abled individuals and achievement centers as a whole. (We love the awareness and acceptance for all!!)

  1. What is your favorite thing about GiGi’s Playhouse? 

My favorite part about Gigi’s Playhouse is how open and adaptable they are toward such a broad range of people. Not only did I recognize how welcoming they were to my brother, but I have observed the staff and volunteers’ flexibility, skills, and creativity in modifying activities to function optimally for individuals of different ages, interests, etc. (Where there is a will there is away!!)

  1. What would you like us to incorporate or do? 

As discussed in previous Youth Board meetings, I believe the contributions of Gigi’s Playhouse can be broadened effectively to the wider community of San Diego by starting a drive dedicated to gathering products for babies to toddlers through schools in the surrounding area. In donating these products to families with children with Down syndrome, not only will there be an immediate impact on those who benefit from these donations, but this will provide exposure for Gigi’s Playhouse at schools, informing the youth of San Diego about the center. (YES!!! We love that advocacy and giving back!!)

  1. Is there anything you would like to add? 

My time spent volunteering at Gigi’s Playhouse has been an invaluable experience that has allowed me to grow as an individual while simultaneously contributing to the lives of others. I have learned so much about running programs, working directly with other individuals, and the great importance of sustaining and expanding centers like Gigi’s Playhouse. (Pure respect and admiration!!)

We could have not asked for a better youth volunteer. We are excited to announce that Solei has graduated and is getting to move on to further her educational career but have no doubt she will a leave lasting impression of GiGi’s Playhouse San Diego!! We wish her the best in all her future endeavors and will gladly keep our volunteer doors open to her!!

GiGi’s Playhouse San Diego Youth Board

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