First Presbyterian Church


Gabriel's Community Story

Posted by Gabriel Alves on

I want to start by saying that Iowa Central Community College was the door to my life in the USA. I can’t express how grateful I am for the opportunity that I was given to be able to come here to study music. Wonderful people with great hearts such as, Kathleen Schreier, Patty Croonquist, Paul Bloomquist, Teresa Jackson, and Will Lopes, gave me the chance I needed to succeed as a student and influenced me to be the professional I am today.

            All those things only gave me reasons to want to give back to ICCC all the kindness they were able to offer me. So when Pastor Austin Hill encouraged us all to go out and serve in the community, I immediately thought of Iowa Central.

            I went to Iowa Central and contacted some of the music department teachers to ask them if they needed any help from me at all. That is when Kathleen mentioned to me that there were some students in the music theory class that would definitely benefit from some extra help outside the regular class time. I said I’d be there in a heartbeat.

            I was there for the fall of 2016 and the first couple months of 2017. I made some small connections with some students and some deeper connection with other students. It was great to see their progress. I saw myself in them. I remember when I used to struggle with some things in the music classes that I took in college. I always thought that it was great to have help from someone who understands it and is able to break things down while clearly explaining it to you outside a classroom. I believe that a personal connection with an instructor or tutor goes a long way. So I was happy to help. It felt good and easy to volunteer there since they were so kind to me in the beginning of my American life.

            It feels right to invest in people who invested on you. It’s rewarding. I was also glad to have a special connection with one of their students who, after many conversations during our tutoring sessions, chose to go to the same university I attended for my undergrad degree. God reveals himself in so many different ways that sometimes it is hard to see Him clearly, but I’m glad I was able to find Him and to follow His paths. I do intend to go back there this fall of 2017 whenever my help is needed. God bless!