After working at a food bank, this Turkish student says, "I love the way American people help"

The Colorado School of English is doing more than just helping foreign students master the complex language of English. It's also teaching them to give back to the communities that help them. As part of the service learning component of the curriculum, students do a volunteer project every twelve weeks; in February, they visited the Grant Avenue Street Reach Soup Kitchen at 1600 Grant Street, close by the school's downtown facility. "They all wrote about their experience volunteering and we received some amazing essays," says Zolo Jones, student services coordinator and academic advisor at the school. "Most of our students have never volunteered in their countries and this concept is somewhat new to them, so this experience made a very positive impression on them."

And on us, when we read their essays, which we're sharing this week. See also: Colorado School of English students learn about giving back at Grant Street food bank

Here's the last in the series of essays, from Fulden, a student from Turkey:

Working as a volunteer is a good way to reach people who need help, also it gives us an idea of how lucky we are in our lives. Yesterday, I joined a volunteer organization work at a church. It was for the people who were hungry, and these people were mostly homeless.

It was a most interesting experience for me to be with them there. All the volunteers were trying to help them kindly with a nice smile on their faces. They were trying to make these people feel relaxed. It was interesting for me because I have not joined that kind of activity before. There were a lot of homeless people who were trying to get some food. Firstly, I was on the serving side. I met with the other volunteers who come there every Monday for more than ten years. They donated their time to help people. At the end, I was on the cleaning side. There was a lot of waste food which we threw out. So, that was an interesting part, because while I was serving food, I was thinking that those people were hungry and coming for food. And, I was serving more than was needed, I mean giving them more food than expected. But, at the end, I realized most of it goes in to the bin. Then, I thought about myself, how I was trying to get enough food to my plate, and if I cannot eat it, thinking about the poor and hungry people in the world and trying not to waste my food. However, they do not have to eat everything because of hunger. But I realized that we cannot prevent of wasting food.

Consequently, I love the way that American people help their fellow citizens. In my country, Turkey, there are not many activities like this for homeless people. And also, I was glad to be there to help people. It was a good experience for me to realize some important ideas about life.

And it was a good experience for Colorado to have these students in this state.

Read the first round of essays here, the second here, and the third here.

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