Interview with volunteer,
On May 12, Hannah Zack had the opportunity to interview long-time volunteer for CPO child and family programming, June McKnight.
How did you first get involved with CPO?
When I joined my church, First Parish of Stow and Acton in 2012, I met two Concord Prison Outreach volunteers. I began to consider if this was something I wanted to do. I often say that prison volunteering chose me and not the other way around because I had never in my wildest imagination thought that I would have the courage or would even want to do it.
What are some of your favorite moments in your work with incarcerated students?
I mostly volunteer at Kids Corner at MCI Concord and my most memorable moments are when the kids get to know you and light up when they see you. I love the spontaneous hugs and the pictures that they draw for me. An older boy drew a heart and shyly handed it to me and asked me what my name was and then wrote my name in the corner, and wrote love from Brian.
What would you tell a prospective volunteer about being a CPO volunteer?
From the outside prison can seem like another world, but it is very much part of our world and houses people like you and me who need to know that they haven’t been forgotten. No matter what program you do, it is about being there and connecting that counts. You will be the richer for that.
Has volunteering impacted your life?
Being a Kids Corner volunteer has taught me a lot. When someone is incarcerated, the entire family, including grandparents is incarcerated. I have so much administration for the mothers and grandparents who keep everything together on the outside. A former Kids Corner volunteer used to say, “there is a lot of love in that room [visiting room].],” and that sums it up!