“One small gesture can mean the world to someone else.” – Kyla Truman ’17 (Brain and Cognitive Sciences)

Kyla Truman

Brain and Cognitive Sciences

“One small gesture can mean the world to someone else.”

What program or project did you participate in?

I primarily participated in the MIT Giving Tree, but was very involved in planning the CPW Public Service Expo and also provided assistance with CityDays.

How would you briefly describe your service project?

Giving Tree is a program that matches gift requests from local organizations serving children and families to MIT community donors.

What did it mean to you to be able to do this?

Participating in Giving Tree felt like I was truly making a direct difference in the lives of others. As a first generation student, low-income families are near and dear to my heart, so being able to provide gifts to them made me feel very fulfilled.

What do you think it meant for the community in which you served?

As somebody who was the recipient of gifts from programs similar to Giving Tree when I was younger, I know how much of a different to the holiday season that a fulfilled wish can make. To these families, getting by day to day is a challenge, and the holiday season adds stress to make it special. Giving Tree takes care of making sure it's a special time, and I know that it must mean so much to these families.
I wanted to do public service work because I wanted to help communities full of children and families who deserve gifts just as much as anybody else, and because I know I'm capable of making a difference. This experience has taught me just how easy it is to give back and how one small gesture can mean the world to someone else.