As a Charlotte native, John Clement wanted to get involved with the community and give back to the place he calls home. Thanks to a friend’s recommendation he discovered United Way’s Hands On Charlotte.


John volunteers as a study buddy each week with Learning Help Centers of Charlotte, a program that serves immigrant and refugee children and their families through learning and education programs.


Derrick is being raised in a household where English is not his first language. When studying together, John takes his time with Derrick and encourages him so that he feels comfortable when learning.


“My favorite part about volunteering has been watching my study buddy, Derrick, develop into an exceptional kid,” John said. “Connecting with the kids or adults and the appreciation that they feel when we are interacting has provided me with a purpose and a sense of accomplishment.”


After spending the entire day in school, John realizes that children need an escape. He likes to incorporate fun breaks between tutoring, which also helps to strengthen his relationship with the children. Once tutoring is over, he stays 10-15 more minutes to play games and have fun with kids in the gym.


John’s passion goes beyond helping Derrick; he also enjoys spending time with the director and other volunteers who are supportive of each other. Through working with Hands On Charlotte with the study buddy program, John has helped influence some of the youngest members in our community.


“I truly believe that the key to life is service,” he said. “And Hands On Charlotte is a great way to plug in and get involved.”


United Way’s Hands On Charlotte provides year-round volunteer opportunities for individuals, groups and all ages. Learn about the many ways you can get involved here.