My name is Liliana Hopkins, and I am a rising sophomore at Secaucus High School. When I think of my earliest memories of Liberty Science Center, I see vivid images of a starry night sky swirl around in my head. During some of my first visits, I’d vigorously pull at my mom’s hands and beg her to take me to the massive dome theater. If I could, I’d sit in the theater for hours, my eyes wide open, desperate not to miss a single second!
When I signed up for the Teen Summer Docent program, I expected to just receive some basic volunteer training...but it was far better than I could've imagined. Guest speakers from all different career paths shared valuable insight about our upcoming submersion into the “real world.” I also spent six weeks working the floors and interacting with guests, which prepared me for future customer service-oriented occupations. Approaching strangers and new people no longer makes me nervous!
During my time as a volunteer, I quickly came to learn that Liberty Science Center is a sanctuary for learners of all ages and backgrounds. There is an activity for everyone, whether that be building structures at Block Party, discovering fossils at Dino Dig, or learning about Hudson County’s wetlands at Our Hudson Home.
Our supervisors also made our time here incredibly special. Two weeks into the program, my peers and I were divided into four groups. Each group designed an activity, related to a specific STEM subject, which would be incorporated into the Science Center and taught to future volunteers. To my delight, I was chosen to be on the astronomy team. A couple of my team members and I developed Constellation Exploration, a Pocket Science activity that would teach guests about different constellations. It was a blast!
To anyone that is considering applying to the Teen Summer Docent program: just do it! It’s a great experience no matter your interests, or your comfort level talking to strangers. By the end of the program, you’ll gain confidence in yourself and preparation for life after high school.
Liliana Hopkins was a participant in LSC’s Teen Summer Docent program, Summer 2019. Click here to learn more about the program!