By Tina Huang
Everything is bigger in Texas. That includes the service opportunities. All you have to do is some digging, and you could find a hidden gem.
Lately, it seems many people, including me, have found one right in Coppell’s backyard: the Navigator Program at Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport.
The Navigator Program is the teen section of the ambassador-volunteering program that helps travelers with all sorts of situations that arise in the airport, from helping someone find a gate to helping a child find their mother.
It really is a worthwhile activity.
I was volunteering near the Skylink terminal connection train when a young child got off the train and the doors shut before she could get back on, taking her family away to the next terminal.
I quickly soothed the distressed child, who I guess was 4 or 5 years old, by telling her that everything would be OK and that I would help find her family. I guided her to the next Skylink stop where her family was waiting, not sure what to do.
When the mother saw her daughter, she ran to her, thankful that her daughter was OK.
The family was very grateful. The feeling of happiness that I felt because I helped was a reward in itself.
Experiences such as this one are among the many reasons why I love volunteering as a Navigator.
It is surprising that the program is not more well-known among teens. While there are 732 ambassadors, there are only 42 teen volunteers from across the Metroplex. Perhaps this is because information about the program is only spread by word-of-mouth, but it is something that deserves to be more recognized.
Although volunteering is often associated with boring activities such as sorting items or sitting around, volunteering at one of the world’s busiest airports is definitely not boring.
Every time I volunteer, which is about once or twice a month, I meet people that are from another continent or are going to an exotic location.
There is just something exciting about aiding people from all corners of the Earth and having someone come up to you and speak French or talk to you with a British accent.
This is just one bonus to volunteering at D/FW. Another perk enjoyed by the Navigators is the ability to get by security quickly using a badge given to each volunteer.
Having a badge is not the only privilege of being a Navigator. I know from experience that the ambassadors volunteering alongside the teens are some of the nicest people you will ever meet. The program provides you with a uniform and food during training.
Volunteers receive an employee discount at restaurants and shops in the airport. Plus, you’ll meet people from across the world and see how things work behind the scenes at D/FW Airport.
Having such a great volunteering opportunity in Coppell’s backyard is perfect because volunteering is a necessity for National Honor Society, which currently has 390 members at CHS, with more being inducted in the Fall. Needless to say, volunteering hours are in high demand.
Based on personal experience and frequent complaints from other students, it can be difficult to find a recurring volunteer program to get involved in. Becoming a D/FW Navigator solves this problem.
To sign up for this great organization, go to http://www.dfwairport.com/ambassadors/navigators/index.php or Google D/FW navigators. Contact Mr. Mehdi Mostowfi at [email protected] and let him know that you are interested. You will hear back from him soon. So come fly with us.
Hope to see you out there.