On Saturday, February 27, 2010 Woodstock’s CSIO Department took 9 students to Baltimore’s Helping Up Mission, a transitional home for men, to volunteer. Breanna West, Harry Saunders, Michelle Becoat, Myron Pugh, Jamaal Grigsby-Petty, Clarence Alston, Jonathan Coates, Alonzo Tyner and Timothy Taylor helped serve food, wipe tables and do dishes from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.
For Woodstock Security student Jonathan Coates the experience was eye opening.
“It teaches you moral values and gives you a new appreciation for your blessings,” said Coates. “These are people older but less fortunate than me and it makes you really think about your life.”
Community service activities like this one build character, said Coates, who has been to the mission two times to lend a helping hand.
“The first time was an epiphany for me and this second time visiting I really got a deeper feeling,” he said.
Coates explained that the men at the mission were so appreciative of the time that Woodstock’s students spent helping out and many said they once attended Job Corps.
“Job Corps a second chance and they explain that to you,” he said. “Job Corps is a life experience and really wakes you up.”
Coates, who plans to serve in the military before pursuing a career as a lawyer, shared his experience at the mission with his trade . “If they give me the chance to go again I have no problem going,” he said. “I think Job Corps should expand on this because many students here are ignorant and going to the mission makes you proud to be an American. There should be no excuse why you can’t succeed in this country.”
For now, Coates, who entered Woodstock in January 2009, has his sights set on becoming a military paralegal specialist.
“I’m shooting for the moon so even if I miss I’ll land among the stars,” he said.