I didn't realize (amazing volunteers, what they do at USN)

This feature is about parent Ritu Joseph and is a monthly column by USNA to encourage volunteers.
by Melissa Flatt, USNA volunteer coordinator

Last year, I was asked by our illustrious University School of Nashville Association if I would consider being the step-up volunteer coordinator. As the name implies, that is a two-year commitment, with the second year being the volunteer coordinator. It's my second year. Don't get me wrong, it's cool to have a title, but what I really do are two main things: 1. If you say you'd like to get involved at USN, I help you connect with the right person and place (as I said, cool job, but even better, wait for it…), and 2. I get to interview really awesome people who volunteer at USN and share their stories with you. All that said, here's the next installment of this year’s column I like to call “I didn’t realize."
 
With so many amazing volunteers here at USN, it can be a difficult task to pick just one person each month. But sometimes you are lucky enough to work alongside someone who just makes everything a little better, a little brighter, a little more fun. I am so honored to spotlight Ritu Joseph as our March volunteer. I’ve told Ritu directly, and I’ll share it with you all now: Working with Ritu will give you new enthusiasm for any project. Ritu is one of the most positive people I’ve ever met, and she spreads that wonder and joy for volunteering wherever she goes.
 
Ritu has been volunteering with USN since September 2011 with no intention of stopping. She is married to the equally delightful Dr. Matt Joseph, and they have two wonderful children, Leah ’24 and Enya ’29. In addition to taking advantage of all USN’s volunteer opportunities, Ritu stays busy helping her mother transition to living in the United States, volunteering with the Girl Scouts, helping at St. George’s Episcopal Church, and spending time with her family and their sweet toy poodle, Honey.
 
Narrowing in on those USN jobs, Ritu has been a room parent, a helping hands coordinator, an Art Department assistant coordinator (I like to call those folks Art Angels), as well as helped with Grandparents and Special Friends’ Day, Artclectic, and Fall Frenzy, just to name a few. She’s also been a parent volunteer for our Middle School musical and a parent chaperone for the Junior Theater Festival 2019.
 
Melissa:  Ritu, first, promise me you’ll never stop, but why do you do it?
Ritu:  I enjoy volunteering at USN because it gives me the opportunity to support our talented faculty and staff who make USN an amazing school. You get to work alongside some pretty inspiring parents and students. I also enjoy being where my children are. You get a unique perspective into what is going on in the classroom—and extra hugs if you’re a Lower School helping hand.
 
Melissa:  With regards to volunteering, what would you like to see change or stay the same at USN?
Ritu:  I think we have wonderful parent volunteers who devote their time and talents to so many USN events—theater, Fall Book Frenzy, Artclectic, Evening Classes. It would be amazing to have new volunteers getting involved in all these events.

Melissa:  Would you volunteer again?
Ritu:  Yes, without a doubt. I’ve learned so much because I volunteered.
 
Melissa:  Ritu, do you have any last words of wisdom for us?
Ritu:  Volunteer at USN. It is enriching and rewarding. You couldn’t ask for a better school, so if you can give back even a little, what an honor. I have no words for how happy this place makes me. USN is the happiest school on earth.
 
And now you can all see why I always try to volunteer with Ritu. Surrounding yourself with positive team members makes every job more fun. Thank you, Ritu.
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    • Parent volunteer Ritu Joseph with her mom, husband Matt, Leah ’24 and Enya ’29.

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