By George Hu
On Sunday, June 8th, the Orange County Math Circle headquarters was filled to bursting with excited parents, students, and volunteers. Everyone was gathered for the annual OC Math Circle Open House. This event resembled the job fairs that adults take part in, and offered volunteering opportunities in STEM and humanity fields to students from across Orange County. By coming to the Open House, students were not only pursuing their interests, but also showing a passion for giving back to their community.
At Open House, eager students and their parents were welcomed in the waiting room by Michelle Chen, Ryan Lim, and Lia Tian, the presidents of OC Math Circle, OC Coder, and OC Scholar, respectively. The prospective volunteers watched a short video about the history and mission of the Orange County Math Circle before listening to the three presidents briefly introduce their own organization. Next up in the visit was a trip to the main room, where students walked back and forth from table to table as they learned about each department of OC Math that they could join. Directors from each department handed out flyers and answered questions from students who were interested in volunteering.
After leaving the main room, students had an option of visiting rooms where OC Coder and OC Scholar were also handing out flyers and answering questions. While some ventured to these rooms, others proceeded to the sign-up room. In the sign-up room, more than ten computers were set up around a table for students to complete their registration forms and waivers.
Open House is a truly unique event, bringing students from middle schools and high schools all over Orange County to tie together their interest in academics and supporting the community. Over eighty students came to this year’s Open House, making the event a huge success. As student Jennifer McCleary mentioned, “it’s great to see all of these kids starting to help the community at such a young age!” By volunteering with OCMC, students are able to spread an interest in math to younger students and their peers. But more importantly, volunteering in a student run organization helps all student volunteers build leadership and communication skills while developing a sense of responsibility. At the end of the day, students walk away with much more than just community service hours- they are given the opportunity to make a positive impact on their community and leave their own legacy, all while gaining a valuable life experience.