Farrington High School’s JROTC and Key Club members have been volunteering at the museum since 2012, and today they can be found helping parents and children discover their creativity through art at every Bank of Hawaii Family Sunday. They are a crucial part of an event that attracts up to 1,800 people every month.
“The volunteering process involves preparing the various art activities, and guiding kids through special arts and craft projects,” says Farrington junior Christian Ildefonso—who is also the school’s volunteer coordinator. “Once the volunteers are given their assignments, they’re on their own. We are not there to do all the work for the kids, but to help kids and parents interact with each other to build the arts and crafts.”
Some of the students are working towards the 30 hours of volunteer work required for academic honors, but many of the volunteers help out at the museum simply because they want to. Ildefonso hopes that by volunteering, students will improve how they interact with people. “Students volunteer their free time just to work with kids at the museum. Since volunteering at the museum exposes students to many kids and adults, it helps them to enhance their social skills,” says Ildefonso.
Micah Vargas, the museum’s volunteer coordinator, is impressed by Farrington’s program. “Farrington High School’s student groups have given more than 450 hours of collective volunteer service to our Bank of Hawaii Family Sunday program,” he says. “Without groups like these from high schools all around O‘ahu, we would never be able to serve the community the way we do, nor would we be able to reach and inspire the families we do.”
Many students in Farrington’s ROTC and Key clubs feel that giving back to their community is an important duty. Nathaniel Sicorsicon, a senior, has been volunteering since he was a sophomore because, “I wanted to help out. [My favorite part] is meeting and helping out kids with the arts and crafts.” Sicorsicon says working with a wide range of people has improved his communication skills and he enjoys the new experiences Bank of Hawaii Family Sunday offers him.
HoMA has a special relationship with its volunteers. “That is what I love about my job,” says Vargas, “getting to be a part of an institution whose core mission is to bring together art and people to create a more enjoyable society.”
To learn more about how you can become a volunteer and to apply online, go to honolulumuseum.org/5144-volunteer.