Meet Zanda, who has been volunteering with TOPS for five semesters now! She has served in many capacities with TOPS, including as an Academic Tutor, Educational Coach, and a Social Coach. She learned about the program during her freshman year. “Back in high school, I volunteered with the Special Education program and have always been passionate about helping my peers,” she explained. “I thought becoming a volunteer for the TOPS program was the perfect opportunity for me to meet new people and get more involved at Ohio State.”
Zanda’s favorite aspect of the TOPS Program is the social events, which she still attends even though she is no longer a Social Coach. She loves that she gets to “to become friends with people [she] would not have met otherwise.” She continued:
My favorite TOPS memories have always been at social events and getting to hang out with TOPS students and volunteers. Last semester, a bunch of the social coaches and TOPS students had a blast at Karaoke Nights at Woody Hayes. We all sang together, cheering everyone on — it was so much fun and would recommend every volunteer to go to the Karaoke Nights if they had to choose one social event to go to.
Zanda also feels that she has taken a lot away from the TOPS program. She says:
Volunteering with TOPS has taught me a lot of social and academic skills for my own life. It has made me appreciate the friendships I have made with the TOPS students. I think the biggest thing for me is that I don’t really see myself as a volunteer, but more like a peer. Whenever I am in class or helping a TOPS student with homework, we are both putting in effort to finish the task at hand.
Outside of TOPS, Zanda is also the president of the Deaf and Hearing Club at OSU. She is majoring in Neuroscience and wants to be a doctor in the future. Her favorite place in Columbus is the Park of Roses and she hopes to visit Greece one day!
The TOPS Staff love Zanda’s flexibility in serving in all of the program’s positions. Her kindness, patience, and responsibility make her a great asset to TOPS!