Youth Forward scholarship 2016 – Endless Possibilities

Name: Max Whitley
From: Raleigh, NC
Grade: 12
School: Enloe High School
Votes: 0

Endless Possibilities


For me, volunteering started as a chore imposed upon me by my mom. I
first started volunteering in the 6
th
grade at a local meals-on-wheels organization. It wasn’t that big
of a commitment, we would help for only an hour or two on the
weekends. However, it was something that 6
th
grade me hated to do, as it interfered with my plans to marathon
cartoons before the school week started. My life went on like this
for a couple of years, my mom making me volunteer and me complaining
about it. All of this changed when we moved to a new state. I was in
the 9
th grade, just starting high school. It’s never easy to move, and
considering that I was a hormonal teenager who was nervous about high
school in general, let alone in a new state full of strangers, it was
a difficult time indeed. I refused to make any friends, feeling as if
doing so would somehow offend my friends back in my home state. After
a few months of doing this, I got tired of having nobody to talk to
and decided to join a volunteering club. Strange, right? Well, it
turns out that doing so affected how I think about life more than I
ever thought it would. At volunteering events, I was able to explore
my new community and help people in need at the same time. I love
kids, so most of my volunteering involved kids, whether it be taking
care of them or being one of them. Through volunteering, I was able
to make friends who have similar interests as me. I never knew that
there would be high schoolers who enjoy theorizing about the best
hide-and-go-seek strategies as much as I do, but know I know there
are. While loving to volunteer was hard at first, I understood why my
mom wanted me to do it. Not only does it benefit the community as a
whole, it benefits one’s personal experience in the community as
well. Being able to help others while also learning about a new niche
in my community opened my eyes and proved to me that there is
something for everybody in this world. Even now, after four different
volunteering organizations and hundreds of hours spent volunteering,
I am still learning about the community I live in. The world is not
as small as 6
th grade me thought it was, and there are more important things than
marathoning cartoons all day. I now see that my mom was forward
looking; she was able to see that a mere two hours every weekend had
a huge impact on our community. Without our help, hundreds of people
would not be able to eat, and she realized that and decided to make
sure that didn’t happen. And while volunteers may not be able to
rid the world of all its troubles, we can count on them to always
find a way to look forward to a brighter tomorrow.


Join our Facebook group "Volunteers for a Better World".