The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

TCC students give back, volunteer with children

By Marc Hutchinson/reporter

Alliance for Children, a local non-profit, is not alone in reaping benefits from TCC student volunteers.

“It makes you less selfish and more humble,” NE student Shawn Fiallos said. “It makes me feel good about myself. And as a student, it opens your eyes.”

Many TCC students have contributed their time volunteering at Alliance for Children, a charity that works with Child Protective Services, Cook Children’s Medical Center, the Tarrant County District Attorney’s Office and Tarrant County police departments to help with the fight against child abuse.

“I have been there since June, but I can tell you that it has made a huge impact on my life already,” Fiallos said.

Alliance associate director Julie Evans has spoken to several classes at TCC about the possibilities of volunteering.

“Tarrant County College has always provided us with great volunteer workers,” she said. “And I think those who do volunteer really get an unbelievable experience.”

The Alliance has more than enough volunteer work to go around. The possibilities for students include assisting with group counseling, helping with fundraisers, spreading community education about child abuse and helping in various ways around the center.

“We could really use more students helping with community education,” Evans said. “When I go around to middle schools or high schools, the point doesn’t always get across how I would like it to. Students are more inclined to listen to people closer to their age.”

Another way for a student to volunteer is to help with transcribing. The student volunteer must observe the forensic interviews done with the child after the abuse is reported and transcribe it into a language that the police department, and ultimately court officials, will accept.

Fiallos has spent his time volunteering as a transcriber.

“It wasn’t easy at first,” he said. “But now, I couldn’t see myself doing anything else.”

Fiallos, originally a business major, changed his major to sociology with plans to become a social worker.

“This experience has really helped give me a better perspective on life,” he said. “I truly can’t see myself doing anything but helping now.”

The experience has been life-changing, Fiallos said. Both Alliance for Children and Catholic Charities, where he also works, want to offer him permanent positions when he completes his college career.

Volunteering is simple to do, Fiallos said. It’s in high demand. It’s an addition to a résumé. Plus, the hours are flexible.

“We like for volunteers to come in at least once a week,” Evans said. “But we are very accepting and understanding toward students’ schedules. Even if we can only get you for a couple hours a week, it would still be a great help to us.”

Cindy Baw, NE English assistant professor, has supported Alliance for Children for eight years and has played a part in encouraging students to volunteer.

“My heart is to help the TCC students become sensitive to the needs in the community and to realize a great part of maturing is to serve others,” she said. “I find the students to be eager and willing.

“I never give extra credit or points. I want the reward to be intrinsic. The TCC students always exceed my expectations. Many of them do end up volunteering their time in the center.”

Baw not only pushes students to volunteer but has given countless hours to help the organization herself. She has helped with donations and drives and planted gardens at the center.

Every Christmas, all of her classes choose a child and buy that child Christmas gifts. A couple of summers ago, Baw made a promotional DVD that was shown at a Texas Rangers game.

“Those students who do come to volunteer for the right reasons really do get an experience of a lifetime,” Evans said. “They get great firsthand knowledge of what it’s like to work in this field and could even find their true calling in life.”

Alliance For Children has three centers — Hurst, Arlington and Fort Worth. To find out more, visit one of the centers or go to

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