Youth Forward scholarship 2016 – Enriching Your Life and the Life of Another

Name: Theresa Booher
From: Sandford, FL
School: Seminole State College
Votes: 0

Enriching Your Life and the Life of Another

Theresa Booher

Volunteering can be very rewarding not only to you but to the lives you touch. I am
older and have always volunteered in some capacity. In my youth I
used to volunteer on nursing homes singing in a chore. The smiles
that these folks had when we sang to them were priceless. We would
sit and talk with them after, getting to know who they were in their
youth. We learned that they were people too. As I got older I would
always volunteer my time to schools doing technology work. Fixing old
computers was a passion and still is. This is part of the reason why
I got into the field of technology. I love technology. I love turning
something old into something new and working. My current job at St
Andrew Catholic School, I got because I volunteered my time to be
their technology coordinator. I worked there about 10 a week at first
while I was taking classes at school. My children go to school there
and I could see that they had such a need for someone to fix their
technology which was run down and old and barely working. My motive
was so that my children could benefit from having technology in the
classroom but it didn’t just help my children, it helped the other
350 children that attended that school. Ninety percent of the student
body at St Andrew is on a scholarship for low income families. So
many of them don’t know how to use a computer. I fixed everything
there from their run down computer lab, to being able to add 2 to 4
computers in each classroom. Being a scholarship school, they did NOT
have the budget to buy new computers, so with the help of a Navy
Program I was able to take their old computers, 50 or so, and
refurbish them with other donated parts and put computers in the
classroom. I trained teachers on how to incorporate technology
learning in the classroom. Old laptops that I received would be
refurbished and donated to students who wanted to have a computer at
home. The reward? Well that was their smiles, their gratitude for
having something new to them that they knew their families could
never afford. There is nothing greater than that.

Volunteering at St Andrew really worked out for me. The school decided that I was
very needed there and didn’t want me to leave. So they offered me a
job as the technology coordinator. I have been at that school now for
7 years. This year is my first year teaching computer lab. I teach
these kids all sorts of skills that will be needed as they grow. I
see kids who have graduated from St Andrew who come back to thank me
for what I have done to help them which is weird and make me feel
old. I have one student who comes back every year to volunteer his
time like I did to help get the technology in the school ready for
the next year. I would not trade what I have done or what I do now
for anything.

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