USLI’s Children Holiday Party

Nina-Simone Beaver | Lifestyle, Volunteer

Ever since I can remember, Christmas has been my favorite time of year. Spending time with family, making cookies and decorating have always made the holidays special. Receiving presents was always a highlight when I was younger, but as I’ve grown up, I have come to realize that giving is much more important than receiving. 

This year, I volunteered as an elf at the USLI Children’s Holiday Party, assisting with taking pictures of the children with Santa. There was also cookie decorating,face painting, gift giving and even a showing of the Nutcracker. Some community members brought their own kids or grandchildren, while others, including college help, volunteered their time by hosting students from USLI’s local partner schools in Philadelphia. Knowing that I helped kids who may not usually get the same holiday experience I had growing up warmed my heart. Seeing all the children interact with Santa and open their gifts made me remember why the holidays are such a special time.

I am so glad I decided to volunteer my time and give back this holiday season. Not only was it a rewarding experience, but it was one of the best ones I’ve had at USLI.

Written by: Natalie Hedegard


Nina-Simone Beaver | Business, Lifestyle, Volunteer

October – one of my favorite months of the year! Before starting at USLI, October was my favorite month because of Halloween and my birthday, but now, October holds a new meaning to me because it is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Three years ago, I was able to start an initiative with the Student Ambassadors called #USLIgoesPINK. #USLIgoesPINK is a series of days in October during which the College Help students wear pink to raise awareness and support of breast cancer.

This past October, fellow Student Ambassador Natasha Zachary and I were able to encourage the full-time USLI community members to participate in #USLIgoesPINK. Unlike past years, we wanted to capture the moment in a different way, so we organized a pink photo booth. During the last day of the initiative, there was a photo booth station located in the café of the Wayne office with pink props and signs available. For me, it was amazing to see people dressed in pink and coming together for a great cause. That day, photos were captured, smiles were had and the USLI community was able to raise awareness of breast cancer. It is my hope that the #USLIgoesPINK initiative grows to be bigger and better each year, and positively impacts those within and outside of the USLI community.

Written by: Nina-Simone Beaver