Would you recommend Chinese Information and Service Center?
CISC is a great organization. I have helped with mock interviews (helping prepare clients for their citizenship test) and taught one of the "Talk Time" classes for ESL. Teaching the class was especially rewarding -- the students were all committed to learning English and grateful for the assistance. I don't speak Chinese, but CISC made sure that bi-lingual volunteers were on hand each week to explain difficult concepts. CISC also helped me to find a free one-day training for teaching ESL. If the class is too much of a commmitment, the mock interviews are an easy way to lend a hand, and it is fun to see the new citizens when they come back to express thanks.
CISC is a great place to volunteer and gain experience. I volunteered over ths summer as a Talk Time teacher to a small group of Chinese adults. I had a fun time with the class, and gained experience in teaching conversational English. CISC provided the class material, and then I was able to creatively structure the class time. I also learned a lot from the students - they were very eager and had a lot of good quesitons. I would definitely recommend volunteering at CISC!
I volunteered in the English and naturalization programs; and it was one of the most amazing experiences I've ever had. Don't worry, you don't have to know Chinese. The goal is to help the students acquire the skills to function in everyday activities, and they know that. I mostly worked with elderly folk, and they were absolutely adorable. Their thirst for knowledge is inspiring, and I can only hope that I'll have it too when I am their age. The other staff members are a great support in your goals as well. I was studying law at the time, and Meon introduced me to the lawyer to see if I could extend my services. This experience changed my life.
This is a very rewarding volunteer experience! Although some are younger, the typical student/citizenship candidate is middle-aged or older (some are elderly) and learned little or no English in school back in their student era. Consequently, many of them struggle with oral comprehension and conversation. However, without exception, they study very hard and know the subject matter materials very well. They just need to practice with native English speakers. It is very satisfying and enjoyable to "bring them along" in English, watch them gain competence and confidence, and see them return with big smiles (usually bearing treats of gratitude) to thank those who have helped them after they have successfully passed their citizenship interviews. It's also satisfying to help them learn something about what it really means to be a US citizen, which is of course very different from what most of them have ever experienced.
If you want to volunteer and have the language capability, then CISC is the place to do it. It is a very well organized and well like organization. They have lots of programs that you will be able to find something you enjoy while helping others. It is time to help and feel good about yourself.