Volunteer with EACS

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Volunteers are the cornerstone of our work at EACS. Volunteers sometimes think they’re just playing jump rope with an 8 year old but they play an indispensable role in helping us serve the community.

To volunteer, review the after school program tutor and then Click Here To Apply To Volunteer or send an email to volunteer@eastafricancs.org for more information.


After School Program Tutor

Volunteer Highlight: Peter Schnurman

We are a nation of immigrants and that makes us strong, so that one of the best ways that I can help make our country even better and stronger is to help immigrants become US citizens. And EACS provides me with the means to do that in a comfortable and friendly setting. EACS believes in the same things that I do, and that is one of the reasons that I can’t wait to come here every morning to help.”

Peter has volunteered with EACS since 2007. Until he retired in 2005, Peter was a professional community organizer for non-profit organizations in Seattle, including United Indians of All Tribes Foundation, El Centro de la Raza, Food Lifeline, Senior Services, and Seattle Emergency Housing Service. An avid volunteer, he supports nonprofit organizations that are working to empower people–especially through the citizenship naturalization process. Peter and his wife have also been volunteering in non-profits internationally since 2000, working in Uganda, Namibia, Mexico, Ghana, Kenya, and Ethiopia. Peter has devoted thousands of hours toward the citizenship program, personally helping more than one hundred East African refugees and immigrants become naturalized citizens.

Volunteer Highlight: Carl Shutoff

Diversity is important and I want to do something to make this country a more accepting place. It wasn’t that long ago that my grandparents came here and I like to think there were people who helped them along the way. I believe in the words of Emma Lazarus on the Statue of Liberty and it upsets me that it’s so hard for people to come to this country, people who are willing to work hard and improve the lives of their families . I love the folks I have been working with here; they are hard workers, they have humor and a lot of warmth. I’ve never experienced such gratitude in my whole life.”

Carl volunteers as a Citizenship Instructor on Thursday and Friday mornings from 10 to 11 AM. East African Community Services is thankful that Carl shares with us his warm, gracious personality and wealth of knowledge accrued from many years in education.  Carl holds a PhD in French literature from Indiana University and a Master’s degree in Special Education from the University of Washington. After retiring from his career in teaching, Carl couldn’t stay out of the classroom for too long. Inspired by his love for instruction and commitment to diversity, Carl joined our team at EACS and sustains one of our most longstanding flagship naturalization services.

When he isn’t volunteering for EACS, PAWS, or the Holocaust Center for Humanity in downtown Seattle, Carl plays in a folk band known as the Kesselgarden Klezmer Duo – an accordion and clarinet duo playing traditional Jewish folk melodies of Eastern Europe, whose music honors the lives of Jewish immigrants.

East African Community Services would like to express our heart-felt appreciation for Carl’s dedication to enriching the New Holly community, and ensuring that so many of our immigrant and refugee clients attain a path a citizenship!

Volunteer Highlight: Ryan Bishop

“As a fifth generation Japanese-American, I grew up hearing stories about my grandparents, great-uncles/aunts, and great-grandparents who were interned during the second World War. I believe that this has given me a unique passion for serving the needs of minority populations. With the current political climate, I am grateful for the opportunity to provide the kids with guidance and reassurance during a difficult time. On top of that, I just really enjoy spending time with the kids and teaching them things that will help to set the foundation upon which they’ll build their futures”

Ryan volunteers during our After School Program with our K-5 students. He graduated from the University of Washington with a B.S in Neuroscience. Currently, Ryan works as an Emergency Medical Technician.

He has had countless memorable experiences while he’s been volunteering at EACS. Ryan’s most significant day was during one of his lowest times. He says “After a rough medical school interview, I was pretty confident that I would be rejected and thus I really didn’t feel like volunteering. However, as soon as I walked in the door, all the kids came running up to give me a hug as if they knew I’d had a disappointing day. They instantly lifted my spirits and made me realize that having a year off of school might not be such a bad thing. Other people often comment about the selflessness of volunteering, though I believe that these kids give me as much, if not more than what I’m able to give them.” EACS really appreciates his time volunteering and helping the kids during our After School Program.