This week, our Volunteer Spotlight is on Michael Lunder!
Why do you volunteer with ASTEP?
I volunteer with ASTEP because volunteer work has always been a very important part of my life and I love the ASTEP approach to supplying volunteers that can help serve all kinds of local missions in various locations.
Why is arts education important?
Arts education is so important because it inspires creative thinking, problem solving, teamwork, self expression, and shows people the power of stepping out of their comfort zone and embracing new experiences and challenges!
What is your favorite memory from an ASTEP program?
Picking a favorite memory is nearly impossible, but I think one major highlight of my Shanti Bhagwan experience was watching the graduating class trying to learn how to waltz. We got to watch them grow from awkward and uncomfortable teenagers that were stumbling over each other’s feet into these blossoming, confident, young adults that held their chins high ready for anything the world had in store for them!
How has art impacted/inspired you?
Art impacted me as a teenager by giving me an outlet to express all of the feelings I was too shy to speak up about to anybody. It inspires me everyday to chase impossible dreams and follow my heart in every day situations, and it keeps the passionate fire burning inside of me.
What do you hope your students gain from your time with them?
I would truly hope my students feel empowered to find passion and happiness, gain self acceptance and feel self-worth from their time with me.
What have you learned from your students?
Every day as a teacher reminds me to embrace imperfection. It also reminds me how powerful love and kindness are, and reminds me that there’s always room for fun.
Is there any advice you would like to share for new ASTEP Volunteers?
I don’t think I’m in a place to give any advice, but I guess I’d just say to leave your mind and your heart open and embrace every moment!
Thank you, Michael, for making magic happen in our programs!
We could not do this work without you!