RVR student, Aliyanda, gives back

How did you first get involved in Rainier Valley Rowing (RVR)?

I got involved in RVR by first joining a program called LEEP (Lakeside Educational Enrichment Program). This program introduced me to the sport of crew. With Karla as my LEEP coach (she is now the director of Row to the Future), I was able to further my knowledge of the sport. I now row for Mt. Baker Rowing and Sailing Center and I’ve been rowing for two years.

Where have you used your rowing knowledge to volunteer in the community?

My rowing knowledge has led me to wonderful volunteer opportunities! One being the program I started with, LEEP (Lakeside Educational Enrichment Program). Here I am able to give back and show rising 9th graders about crew. I also decided to hang out with some rising 5th and 6th graders in Rainier Scholars. I was able to help alongside Karla in some good ol’ erg racing! Demonstrating and discussing how the erg works and the correct rowing positions. I was really happy to be a part of the early learning of crew. And helping my little brother who attended Rainier Scholars was a plus!

What do you find most rewarding about volunteering?

I volunteer because it’s fun! The youth I have worked with always want to learn or at least try. And with that attitude it’s hard not have a good time teaching and giving back. What I find most rewarding is when the program comes to an end and I can reflect on all that I was taught–from new jokes to learning more about crew myself. What I hope I bring is a person who enjoys having fun but balancing it for those who really want to learn something new!

Anything else you want to share?

Crew is a perfect mix of fun, teamwork, sportsmanship and exercise. And I’m really happy to be a part of it. Thanks RVR!