Ronald McDonald House – Senior Project Snapshots

Among Friends   Fall 2015

Senior Project Snapshots

During the month of May, seniors engage in off-campus pre-professional projects. Students gain hands-on experience and receive an introduction to the professional world. At the conclusion of their Senior Project, students present reports to faculty and their classmates.

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Senior Project: Ronald McDonald House

Adalberto Rosado – Princeton University

How did you choose Ronald McDonald House for your Senior Project?

I first became interested because Sonia Mixter Guzman ‘02, the House Operations Manager at Ronald McDonald House, tutored me in English the summer before my freshman year at MFS. While I was there, Sonia gave me a tour and talked about everything that the House does, and I just remember walking around, seeing different families. Once Senior Project came around, I thought, what if I went back to that place? I knew they helped a lot of people.

Does this experience apply to what you’d like to pursue later in life?

I’m going into college undecided, but I know I like being in an environment like this one where I have to interact with a lot of people. I’ve been thinking about psychology, because I took it this past year with (Science Teacher) Dr. Kreider, and that was amazing. We learned not just about the brain and how people behave, but also about ourselves. I learned things about myself that I was never aware of, and if I could help people in that way, I think that would be great.

Did you learn any valuable lessons during your time here?

Be ready for the unexpected. For example, we usually had one group come in to make dinners for the families, and one day we had two that showed up at the same time. We had to compromise who was going to leave and who was going to stay. Sometimes something really unexpected happens and you just have to deal with it and go with the flow.   

What kinds of projects have you been able to help with?

Translating has been a big part of my work. A family who I assisted came in one day from Mexico and their English was very, very limited. One day we had a translating issue that was even difficult for me to translate, because there are certain Spanish words that are different in other places that I didn’t understand. But I thought back to my family being in a place where we didn’t speak the same language, and I know it’s really difficult. You feel like an outsider; you feel like you don’t belong, you don’t know what to do, you’re kind of lost. To give that source of comfort, through language, was incredible.  

What do you do to make people feel more comfortable during their stay?

One thing we really did emphasize was that we’ll get them whatever they need, even if it’s the tiniest thing. They could just ask anyone. For instance, someone asked if we had any yarn to use to knit, and we eventually figured it out. Whatever it is, whether they are looking for something to do or a place to go, we really tried to meet all their needs and wants. No matter how small they seem, we tried to make them feel as at home as possible.        

Next: Friends Schools – Senior Project Snapshots