Student talks volunteering with club CADA and children in need
Mary L. M. Parco, 24, a senior double majoring in child and adolescent development and psychology has been a part of the Child and Adolescent Development Association (CADA) at Cal State Northridge for a total of three years and currently holds the position of vice president.
CADA is a student nonprofit organization that strives to enrich lives and make a difference on campus and in the larger San Fernando Valley community. They provide career, academic, and professional development for CSUN students through community interactions, volunteering opportunities, social events, fundraisers and other festivities.
Parco was introduced to CADA by a friend in her child and adolescent development class during her sophomore year. She joined CADA because of the volunteer opportunities available for children of all ages and grade levels.
“Besides joining CADA for good networking purposes for the future, I joined CADA to enhance my own personal and professional development skills to help me in my future profession,” Parco said.
CADA has hosted a variety of volunteer and social events, a few of them being LA Housing, Adopt a Classroom, AIDS Walk, and many more.
“What CADA is trying to achieve is that we want to provide help and support for those who are in need,” Parco said. “For example, CADA would fundraise at BJ’s Restaurant for a cause for ‘Adopt a Classroom.’ All the proceeds from the fundraising event would be used to buy school supplies to give to a local school.”
Parco is a fifth year senior or what she called a “super senior,” but is due to graduate Fall 2013.
She has worked for the Associated Student Children Center on campus for three years and finds that being a full-time student, having a part-time job, being vice president for CADA, along with other personal commitments outside school can be overwhelming.
Parco explains that it is important to take a deep breath, think, and do one thing at a time. Most importantly, she finds that being organized, having patience, and practicing good time management skills make all the difference.
Parco’s sister, Germaine Parco, 22, a senior majoring in kinesiology explains how proud she is of her sister and her involvement with CADA and in shaping the organization to what it is today.
“Mary started as an advertiser in CADA and through the years she’s been a part of the organization. She learned the in’s and out’s from other previous board members,” G. Parco said. “Then from historian to now the vice president of CADA, Mary envisions CADA a more well-known and larger organization on campus by providing its members great volunteer experiences that work with children around the community.”
G. Parco described her sister as being a fun-loving, friendly, generous, caring, helpful, and driven individual. She continued by stating how proud she is of her sister and admires the dedication she puts into CADA. Parco’s involvement in school and drive in life have influenced G. Parco to aspire as her sister does.
“Mary is a very passionate and devoted individual and that’s how she is naturally with anything she does or commits herself to,” G. Parco said.
Parco explains that her overall experience and values she has gained over the years with CADA will have a great influence in her life and in her profession.
“I am honored to have served CADA for three years, which I will definitely miss when I graduate,” Parco said. “However, I know for sure, that I will keep in touch and support CADA to grow as an organization on campus.”