When you visit the Gay Alliance LGBTQ Resource Center on Monday afternoons, you are greeted by our June volunteer of the month Laura Buttiglieri. Laura has been an office volunteer for the past three years. She greets everyone with a smile and a warm hello, she is very organized and dependable. Laura excels in helping enter data into our database and is always willing to take on any task no matter the size.

Laura said:

I’m Laura Buttiglieri. I’m originally from Queens, New York. I moved to the Finger Lakes area with my parents and sister in 2008. We came up here after my father from his job. From living in a busy city to an area surrounded by farmland there was some adjusting to do. After a while, a life of a quieter environment is something that I actually enjoy.

I worked a few jobs that I didn’t really think were interesting and I rarely felt any enjoyment doing. I was debating on going to college because I really wasn’t sure what I wanted to do. And I didn’t really like the idea of going to college and not having a concrete plan. The realization that I would have all these student loans piling up the longer I was in school was not something that I knew I would be happy about in the coming years. I was contemplating going to beauty school because it was something that sounded good for the time being.

During that I also filled out a sign?up sheet to volunteer at the Gay Alliance; this was something that help change what I wanted to do. I started volunteering in the office and later started helping out at the Pride Festival. Doing all of this I realized that I liked helping people. And a few months after my thirtieth birthday I came to the conclusion that I need to start doing something that I enjoy. Something that I would be proud doing. So I enrolled in college and am going for a degree in Human Services. With this degree I hope to become a community social worker or to work as a social worker in a shelter. My real ambition is to go to continue school to receive a doctorate in social work.

Besides volunteering and being a student I also work close to where I live. There is a consistency of some sort of work from Mondays to Saturdays. The busyness is something that I enjoy although I miss doing a mixture of arts and craft projects in my spare time. These projects are something that I usually start all at once and find myself forgetting to finish them. But they help to pass time and distract me from the stress of school and work. However, there are more projects that I am taking on.

My fiancée and I are planning our wedding that is set for later this year. We have been together for about seven years and are happy that we are taking this new adventure. This something that we are looking forward to a lot and are joyful to be having our close family and friends to be a part of it.

I have been volunteering for the GAGV since 2013, three years this June. It is something that I look forward to every week. I never really lasted at most of my jobs long. This is the longest that I ever stayed with anything. I’m not just saying that because it seems appropriate, but I truly mean that I like volunteering. It is something that has helped change the path in my life and I am truly grateful for it.