Deborah Wang, a recent graduate from UCLA, was visiting a high school campus located in an affluent neighborhood when she immediately recognized a stark contrast to her own experience.
“When I played tennis they didn’t even have lights on the courts, so when it hits nighttime you’re done,” Deborah said. “Your match is over, because you can’t see.”
The recognition of these differences inspired Deborah to use her Physiological Science degree from UCLA to benefit future generations as a teacher.
“A lot of people that go into my [major] think, ‘I either become a doctor or a researcher’,” she said. “I wanted to turn around and give that same fascination in science to [others].”
Deborah’s overwhelming desire to help disadvantaged students gain a greater appreciation for science brought her to the Violence Intervention Program, where she recently taught a 1st grade girl how to do double digit addition and subtraction.
“That was a shining moment for both of us,” Deborah said.
At an early age, Deborah’s mother instilled in her a sense of moral responsibility, which she continues to honor through her work as a volunteer.
“What’s special about VIP is that you’re not only helping the community, but [also] children who need that little extra boost so they can excel at school,” she said.
Deborah hopes others will follow her example and invest their time in a cause they support.
“Dip your feet in and try it out,” Deborah said. “If it works out you’ll feel really proud of yourself.”