Marissa Dzotsi has been a College Town Tutor since August 2020.
What do you do outside of your time at Reality Changers?
Outside of Reality Changers, I am captain of the University of San Diego Women’s Rowing team and major in Biology with a minor in Non-profit Social Enterprise/Philanthropy. When I am not working or rowing, I spend my time baking or editing my blog, MyManyShades.
What makes your volunteer experience at Reality Changers a meaningful use of your time?
Volunteering at Reality Changers is one of the highlights of my week. Being able to connect with the next generation of leaders and play such a small role in their success means everything to me. I decided to volunteer with Reality Changers because I am a strong believer that higher education should not be reserved to a select few in society; especially in a society in which knowledge is power. I know that I would not be where I am today without the amazing individuals that guided and mentored me and if I can help at least one student get a little bit closer to their goal, then I know what I am doing is worth it.
Tell us about a time that was especially meaningful or a memorable moment for you as a Reality Changers volunteer.
A moment that meant the world to me was when I was working with a student on some math homework and it was very clear they were struggling with the concept and I expected them to call it a night as soon as we finished the assignment. But instead, the student asked me if we could spend the rest of the night going over practice problems until they completely understood the concept. It was such a small thing, but it is just testimony to how driven the students at Reality Changers are. Not everything comes easy to them, but they are always willing to do whatever it takes to succeed.
What is one idea, opportunity, or challenge that you are currently focused on in your role as a volunteer?
Currently, I am focused on making sure the students are still excited about school and life. With COVID, it can be so hard to stay motivated and see purpose in your actions everyday. My goal is keep their passion roaring and to let them know that they are not alone in their journey.
If you could encourage someone else to volunteer at our organization, what would you say?
I would say everyone needs to volunteer at Reality Changers because the community you find there is unmatched. You meet so many phenomenal individuals that are driven to truly make the world a better place.
What is your favorite quote or life mantra?
“When we speak we are afraid our words will not be heard nor welcomed, but when we are silent we are still afraid, so it is better to speak.” – Audre Lorde