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VOLUNTEER SPOTLIGHT: Peter Boulding

Giving courage and hope to children who face many of life's challenges.

The Salvation Army's after school program depends on volunteer tutors and mentors to encourage some of Bloomington's children to manage their academic and social trials and difficulties. Peter Boulding's compassion "exemplifies what distinguishes a good tutor from a great tutor," according to his nominator, Peter Iversen. Peter has cerebral palsy, which causes him to walk and talk in manners that some children aren't used to seeing or hearing- but this does not stop children from intently listening and participating with Peter. When he walks into a Peter Boulding room, the children cheer in celebration; when he is (very rarely) late, there is a sense of concern from the children. The connection he has established with the children has helped them see beyond any existing pretenses, and recognize that Peter can create a positive relationship with them and be a strong role model. By accepting and moving on from his own personal challenges, Peter has shown these children firsthand that they can go through life with a good sense of humor, jubilant energy and optimism to succeed. Because of his outstanding efforts and attitudes, the children he works with benefit from Peter's approach on life.

Peter commands the attention of children who commonly have behavioral and cognitive challenges, and creates a hands-on learning environment that shows children how to follow direction and act independently to demonstrate their involvement. His desire to teach is shown through his participation in music, craft and sports activities, along with aid to currently staffed teaching lessons through the Salvation Army. The children participating can easily bond with Peter because of his ability to communicate with them along with his excellent patience for their needs.

Learn more about how to get involved at the Salvation Army here.

6/10/2009