Youth Forward scholarship 2016 – Community Service Reflection

Name: Brian Lopez
From: Morgan Hill, California
Votes: 0

Beginning my freshman year of high school I’ve consistently been volunteering at
a local youth center near me for about 3 days a week. This youth
center is part of the boys and girls club. It’s called “El Toro
Youth Center.” The youth center primarily intends to support the
education of children who come from low-income families which for the
most part are Hispanic/Latino. The parents of the children work long
shifts, and don’t have the energy to go home and try to help their
kids out with homework, so at El Toro Youth Center we help them out
with that from 2-6 p.m. I felt like I was in the same position as
these kids when I was in elementary school, with parents who worked
long shifts in order to provide for me and my siblings as a youth. I
attended Y.M.C.A. and I feel as if this program is the same for these
kids but with funner activities. As a volunteer I help the kids out
with homework, play with them outside occasionally, and primarily
help the staff clean-up after the kids. My highest challenge has been
patience; I feel as if this center has helped me mature and improve
my communication skills because I’m usually not a patient person
but having kids be disobedient toward me and knowing I’m limited on
what I can say has been reflecting for me. Gratification to me is
perceived when I get home, knowing that I helped another kid finish
their homework that they probably would have ended up trying to
figure out at home on their own, and thanks to me it was all
facilitated and completed. My career goals don’t line up perfectly
with this volunteering but in a way they do. I aspire to be an
Orthopedic surgeon, it relates in the sense that it’s helping
people in general, and at moments potentially kids who suffer from
injuries. I see myself continuing this type of community service in
the future; I don’t see it as a one way avenue, I learn qualities
as a person that I wouldn’t be able to obtain through books, and I’m
very thankful for that.

My objective in life is to make a change in this world; by modifying,
creating, or supporting something that will cause positive change in
people’s lives and in a way I feel like I’ve already started to do
so in a miniscule way (compared to what I look forward to achieving
in the future), I think the hours I spend helping the kids at the
center mean more than anything written on paper. The 500+ hours that
I’ve done in about 4 years, are something I wouldn’t continue to
do if I didn’t believe I was going to help this kids out with their
futures, and I believe if I were to come back in 10 or 20 years I
would still feel the same way because I know these kids will succeed.

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