An Inspired Heart

Photo by Ashley Chaney

Greenville University gives students the opportunity to help in many ways, including in school or off campus. There are wonderful opportunities where students can find ways to help individuals with special needs from kindergarten through adulthood.

Mary-Ashley Barber is one of those students who finds ways to help off-campus through her volunteer work. Barber is a well-known student that has helped tremendously on the Greenville University campus.

Greenville Free Methodist is right on the outskirts of Greenville. Photo by Ashley Chaney.

Barber is a sophomore Special Education major. She uses her gifts to teach two and three-year-olds every Sunday at the Greenville Free Methodist Church. Barber found inspiration for working with young children from her mother at a much younger age. “My mom inspired me to help out at the church because she is the Director of Early Childhood Department and she needed help. I’ve worked in the department since I was in junior high. I really enjoy being around children — it brings me so much joy to see little ones learning about God!”

Barber develops lessons for kids that are aimed toward teaching them simple lessons in the Bible. “The goal I have for my two and three-year-olds is that they are able to grasp Bible stories and learn that Jesus loves them.”

Having goals to help out younger individuals can be a way for them to grow within their education. Knowledge is key for young individuals who are learning about the Bible and other material. Which can help them in their future.

Barber is well aware of her ability to make sure the kids are capable of learning and are disciplined. She has different ways to help the kids in different situations. “On Sundays, kids usually eat a snack when I am reading the Bible story. That helps them to stay quiet and they are able to listen to the story. Other ways the kids find useful is working as a team and listening to what each other say when answering the questions that I ask.”

Greenville Free Methodist has fun and inviting classes for children of all ages. Photo by Ashley Chaney.

Learning character traits such as teamwork from a young age can be a way for kids to learn to work together when growing up. Barber’s teachings will help these kids in the future.

While managing her time between school and work she still continues to make both of them priorities. “Well, it is pretty nice because I only work and volunteer at the church on Sunday so it doesn’t really affect my schooling.”

Outside of school, Barber finds her ability to work with kids and she loves to help. Her time with the kids is well spent, as it is preparation for her future career as a teacher. The obstacles that Barber continues to battle will prepare her for her future career.

Many students have jobs and volunteer outside of school which helps different programs and themselves. Helping out in the community can be a way for Greenville University students to grow. Barber’s abilities to teach young individuals about Jesus and the Bible will forever be influential to her students and their spiritual growth.

Media by Ashley Chaney.

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