Sophomore Daisy Zhou (sitting at the head of the table) helps children with their homework in her hometown of Chengdu, China. (Photo courtesy of Zhou)

CAVS AROUND THE WORLD: Sophomore helps community, environment in Chinese hometown

In the “Cavs around the World” series, students discuss their summer internships, jobs, volunteer work and classes.

Sophomore Daisy Zhou did community service and volunteered at an environmental organization called Roots and Shoots in her hometown of Chengdu, China.

Q: What did your community service and volunteer work entail?

A: I did stuff like clean up the activity room for the people in our community. That’s the main room that they do some activities in, like choir and just chatting. I also just worked with some children. I helped them with homework and sat with them.

My dad has a friend who worked for Roots and Shoots, so then I helped with that. I collected some information about plastic pollution on the internet. I worked there for two or three weeks.

Q: What else does Roots and Shoots do?

A: They are committed to protecting the environment, and they teach people that the environment is important and we need to love nature. I know that for the Chinese branch particularly, they give lectures about protecting nature, they make on-the-spot investigations, they go into a community and teach the children how to do garbage classification and so on. 

Q: Did you enjoy volunteering for Roots and Shoots?

A: Yeah, I did. Because it’s really meaningful, especially the plastic part. I just started to learn exactly how plastic has influenced our world. Our oceans, too. Plastic pollution is just so bad right now, and a lot of people are trying to stop it.

Q: Did anyone volunteer with you?

A: No, just me.

Assisted by other volunteers, sophomore Daisy Zhou cleans up the activity room in her community. (Photo courtesy of Zhou)

Q: What was your favorite part of this experience?

A: Just getting to stay with my family again. That was fun.

Q: Why did you choose to volunteer and help where you did?

A: First, I needed community service hours to graduate. Secondly, I really like to do things connected with nature. I love nature a lot, and I want to know more about it. Volunteering for Roots and Shoots and collecting information about plastic for them was just meaningful since I started to have more understanding of how plastic pollution influences our planet. 

Q: How long did you stay in China?

A: For the whole vacation, like 2½ months. 

Q: What do you miss most about China?

A: My home, my family, my friends and Sichuan food. 

Q: What inspired you to do volunteer work?

A: The news or shows on TV talking about the current condition of the environment and my interest in nature.

—By Nihal Gulati

Excerpt originally published in the Sept. 17 edition of the Octagon.