I am Smith

Kinyaa Luka

Kinyaa student profile photo
About Kinyaa

Class of 2018

Government major

How did you get involved in community service?

I became involved in community service in greater Northampton by picking up pamphlets from the Jandon Center. Having settled into a routine my sophomore year, I sought to better understand the Northampton community outside of Smith. Based on the opportunities available through the CSO, I became interested in working with recent immigrants to the Pioneer Valley through the International Language Institute (and English language tutoring program for adults), as well as volunteering at Manna Soup Kitchen.

What do you find rewarding about working with your agencies?

In volunteering with the International Language Institute and Manna Soup Kitchen, it is rewarding to continuously meet and interact with wonderful people with diverse life stories and backgrounds, whether members of Northampton's food insecure population, students at the institute or other workers and volunteers.

What one moment has stood out to you the most?

In working with Manna, what stood out to me the most was when people who frequented the soup kitchen would recognize me and say hello during my errands downtown. This acknowledgement helped me to better appreciate what it meant to actively integrate into and contribute to the community outside of Smith.

What would you like someone else to know about the work you do?

With the word I do—as as the conventional wisdom goes—I gain more from the volunteering experience than anything I impart.