June Volunteer Spotlight
My name is Noreen Khanichehri and I am an intern at GiGi’s Playhouse Sugar Land for Spring 2023! I am going to be graduating this May with a Bachelor of Science in Public Health and a minor in Biology from the University of Houston. Before interning, I started my GiGi’s journey by volunteering at the playhouse over a year ago. After I got to learn about the wonderful programs GiGi’s provides individuals with Down syndrome, I wanted to be able to help all the participants, families, and staff, more than a volunteer’s capabilities. While interning here, I have been able to lead and assist in our weekly programs such as GiGi’s Kitchen, GiGiFIT, GiGi Art, and Destination Discovery. I have also had the honor to create and lead my own lesson plan about the importance of dental hygiene to our adults in GiGi’s Kitchen. Additionally, I was able to plan and read a few times for our infants on Fridays at LMNOP.
Interning at GiGi’s this past semester has been one of the most rewarding and memorable tasks I have done since the beginning of my education. Being able to directly work with individuals with Down syndrome of all ages and personalities allowed me to have knowledge past the books and be able to spread awareness to others based on a personal outlook. After graduating, I will be applying to dental schools and practicing dentistry in the future. While being here at GiGi’s, I was able to understand the challenges and differences individuals with Down syndrome go through and be able to use this knowledge when working with all different types of patients in the future.
The participants and families I have met at programs and events, like the spring Fashion Show or the Acceptance Challenge in the previous year, have been an everlasting joy in my life. Even after my internship, I am excited to volunteer and see GiGi’s grow bigger and continue to spread its message and awareness to everyone.