Rachael Thames '07/'08MS, Wheelock World Service Leader
At the preschool where she teaches or when volunteering, Rachael Thames loves bringing young imaginations to life through reading and play.
Wheelock World Service Day started in 2009 when the Alumni Association Advocacy and Community Service Committee was looking for a new and active way to connect with the mission of the College.
Committee Chair Rachael Thames '07/'08MS took on leadership of the initiative and the group came up with the idea for a day when alumni could gather for service in their home communities, strengthening their ties to each other and to the College, and increasing Wheelock's visibility around the world.
"Our first World Service Day was held on April 17, 2010, and there were service projects in Cape Cod, MA; Nashua, NH; Stoneham, MA; Boston, MA; Portland, OR; San Francisco, CA; Sarasota, FL; and Singapore," Rachael says. "The service projects ranged from reading to babies to cleaning up the Muddy River. It was lots of fun and a wonderful experience to have alumni working alongside other alumni and with their families, and introducing Wheelock and its mission to others in their communities."
Rachael believes strongly in living Wheelock's mission and was inspired by it to choose a job with a similar mission and values. At Horizons for Homeless Children, where she teaches preschool, the mission is to improve the lives of homeless children and their families. There, Rachael provides children with a positive early education experience that is focused on play and supports their social and emotional development. She feels fortunate to work with children who have experienced the trauma of homelessness and to use the knowledge and skills she gained at Wheelock to provide them with high-quality care and learning experiences.
Rachael sees Wheelock World Service Weekend as another opportunity for her and other volunteers to put what they have learned from their College experience to good use on behalf of children. "For the upcoming April 20 - 22 service weekend, we want to reach out to everyone in the Wheelock community," she says. "We are calling for students, alumni, faculty members, parents, families, and all of our Wheelock friends to participate and to encourage all of their friends and family to join us too. To those who volunteered last year, I thank you and would like to welcome you back. Your compassion and action on behalf of others will help make the world a better place!"