Zain Gillani

Daily Point of Light # 3594 Nov 13, 2007

The voluntary services that Zain Gillani performs are multi-faceted focusing mainly on helping children of underrepresented communities. Being a child of immigrant parents he understands the opportunities he is blessed with.

During the school year he volunteers through LINKS (Linking Ideas and Networking Kids with Science) a club formed by High School students in August 2006 and is sponsored by Fernbank Science Center. As a member of LINKS, they do an outreach program for underrepresented elementary and middle school students called Science Night Out, which is a hands on science activity on Friday nights for three hours. Zain as one of the founders and members of LINKS is involved in planning out the activities and then teaching the activity to the young children. They teach them about various scientific topics and have labs and demonstrations about robotics, chemistry, forensic and animal sciences.

The other volunteer activity that Zain is involved in during the school year is working as a FUN (Fernbank Ultimate Naturalist) volunteer, which he has been doing since the seventh grade. He gives his time at the Fernbank Museum of Natural History, where he shares his knowledge with Museum patrons trying to help encourage curiosity, creativity and appreciation of natural history and science in young people.

He is also the founder of Zain's Helping Hands Service Projects through which he has volunteered for the Lions Club. He collected used cell phones, under the program Cells for Sight, and donated them to the Lions Club which in turn sells the cell phones and uses the money to provide eye care and eye glasses to people in need. In the fall he does a project called Sight Night, where he collects used glasses during the month of October culminating on Halloween Night and he donates the glasses to the Lions Club who clean, measure, and distribute the glasses to people in need. Zain has been working on Cells for Sight and Sight Night for the past two years and hopes to continue doing so every year. Zain's Helping Hands Service Project serves as an umbrella organization under which he does many projects. In the two years since its inception it has grown to include a Website to update the community about projects and solicit help from the community.

His summer volunteer project is the highlight of his year. This is his second year participating as a counselor for a camp for children of immigrant parents. This camp is aimed at providing a sense of direction and helping the children be self-confident through play and role models. Camp Mosaic requires all counselors, returning or new to undergo a vigorous training and requires hundreds of hours of preparation and training to provide a comprehensive, enjoyable and excellent camp. It is entirely staffed by volunteers. Zain looks forward to this camp every year and puts in his full dedication prior to the camp for training and during the camp preparing the lesson plan and activities.

Zain is involved in various extracurricular activities whether it is volunteering, academic or hobby related. His schedule is multi-faceted and has provided him with a well-rounded array of experiences. He exhibits distinct leadership abilities that are highly valued in any program.