Interviewing folks for Service Spotlights is already inspiring, but especially so when projects are founded from young generations. Aarya Gokhale is a rising high school junior in Virginia and also the founder of Virtually Verbal, a student-led language tutoring organization. I am so excited to introduce you to Aarya and her team’s project in this week’s Service Spotlight.
Liz: Tell me about Virtually Verbal.
Virtually Verbal Team: Virtually Verbal is a student-led organization that aims to assist others in learning new languages and spread cultural diversity for FREE. Anyone can sign up to be a student! Currently, we provide courses in French, German, Spanish, Chinese, and Latin. We also have over 40 students from the U.S., India, and Canada and we want to grow our Virtually Verbal family. And, although Virtually Verbal started as just an idea, it has now evolved into an international organization! We welcome you as a student or tutor so that our family can grow and share our love for foreign languages.
Liz: What is the driving force behind what you do?
Virtually Verbal Team: Not many people have the opportunity to learn new languages. And when there are available choices, they come with a literal and metaphorical price tag. Struggling to maintain a high grade or charging money for our services brings us nowhere. We believe that the simplistic joy of learning should not induce stress. Which is why we take comfort in knowing that our students were self-motivated to learn foreign languages. And in return, their pool of knowledge will help them understand cultural diversity and thrive in their career and abroad. Our students are the entire reason why we have continued to push through obstacles and set-backs so that we can provide this opportunity for them.
Liz: What does service mean to you?
Virtually Verbal Team: Service establishes a sense of empathy towards our community and helps us recognize how our actions can have a positive impact on others. Our tutors at Virtually Verbal provide their time and commitment to help others and make a change in someone’s education. To others, performing service may seem sacrificial, but we receive something in return: our students’ joy. And that is more than enough.
Liz: How can people get involved?
Liz: Anything else you'd like to add?
Virtually Verbal Team: To all of the prospective tutors and students: We welcome you with open arms!
Liz: Do you have a favorite quote to leave us with?
“Never stop learning; for if we stop learning, we stop growing.”
-Loyal ‘Jack’ Lewman