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Student volunteers and part-time workers at the Corning Museum of Glass take advantage of the unique working environment the glass museum creates with both tourists from all over the world and local field trips visiting regularly

Vitreous Volunteers

In front of the Dale Chihuly sculpture, sophomores Aaryaa Donthu and Shane Lehman take a break from volunteering at the Corning Glass of Museum. “Volunteering makes me feel helpful and they make you feel really important. You are helping people out and making an impact,” Lehman said. “It helps to know that you are working towards something. When you have to do applications and when you are looking at colleges, volunteer hours are especially important.” photos by Ethan Banks

     With a world-class museum and hot glass studio just a block away from the school, students had no lack of opportunities to volunteer and gain work experience. Sophomore Andrea Giganti turned to CMOG in order to meet requirements for her classes at school. “I started to volunteer at CMOG because I needed to obtain volunteer hours for my health project,” Giganti said. “Also, there are many opportunities to volunteer at CMOG, which means that I am able to interact with other volunteers and form bonds with people from all over.”

     Both being inspired by her family and wanting to try something new, senior Leah Storms decided to volunteer at CMOG early on. “I started volunteering when I was in seventh grade. My sister got me interested because she started volunteering the year before and had fun with it, so I thought that I would give it a try,” Storms said. “My parents also wanted to educate me and my sister from a young age of the importance of giving back to the community, so that also influenced my decision to start working at CMOG.” 


      After meeting the age requirement, Storms decided that she wanted to have a larger role within the museum. “I’m a part of the Guest Services Department as a Guest Services associate,” Storms said. “I sell admissions tickets, sell and make reservations for the ‘Make Your Own Glass’ tickets, sell memberships, stand around the museum at various posts to answer guest questions and all-around help guests in any way that I can to ensure that they have the best experience possible.”   

     With many stations to volunteer at during his shift, there was one that junior Kia Eshraghi did not enjoy as much as the others. “There were stations that the three different volunteer groups rotated through throughout the day, such as organizing, ‘You Design It, We Make It,’ helping to open doors, the glass shows and more,” Eshraghi said. “My least favorite station to rotate through was the ‘You Design It, We Make It’ station because there was never anybody there.”      

     Even though a bulk of the teens volunteered over the summer, occasionally opportunities arose throughout the school year that allowed volunteers to help out. “I volunteer at the museum mainly during the summer for a week, and sometimes during the school year for a couple of hours if there is a volunteer week over February break, or an event going on where they need extra help,” sophomore Sahiti Vemury said.

     People from all over the world traveled to the museum on a regular basis, which caused workers and volunteers to interact with people who weren’t from this state, or even this country. “My interactions with foreigners are eye-opening and I am open-minded to other cultures,” Giganti said. “Whenever I get to encounter foreigners from different countries, I get to learn more about them and their cultures. Even if some can’t understand English, just them showing kindness and politeness is what really counts. Being a dual citizen of America and Lithuania myself, I can understand how difficult it must be being surrounded by a different culture and living up to standards and expectations. So, I welcome others for taking the time to explore boundaries outside their culture.”

“I help out customers that come in and answer questions that they might have regarding where to go or what there is to do in the museum. I open doors and hand pamphlets to people, but we help out all over the museum wherever they need us.”

Colbe Sick, 10

Bon Appétit
At the Painted Post Denny’s, the actors and tech crew look over menus while talking amongst themselves. “Everyone traditionally gets a milkshake every single time. We actually call ahead and they make a bunch of them for us so everyone can have one,” senior Brandon Spaugh said. 

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