Youth Forward scholarship 2016 – Giving Back

Name: Alexis Schenck
From: Stanly, NC
Grade: 12th
School: Forestview High School
Votes: 0

Giving Back Through my Second Nature

Reading. For me it came easily, and I couldn’t imagine someone not loving it
as much as I did. In the sixth grade I was reading at a tenth grade
level, and was excelling faster than anyone around me. Reading was
like taking a journey for me, and when I heard about a Reading Loss
camp that was recruiting volunteers I was instantly intrigued and
wanted to sign up immediately.

During summer, going into the camp 4 days a week from 11:00 to 5:30 was
nothing close to a job for me, but simply fun. As a volunteer, I was
in charge of making sure the children were learning at a steady pace
but still having fun at the same time. At the end of the day, I also
had to make sure they all got in their ways of transportation safely
and make sure they had each received a healthy snack.

I remember one of my most challenging days being one that I actually
shared my passion with someone. One of the students I was working
with was very discouraged and refused to do any work. I tried to coax
him to try to sound out the words, and explain that reading could be
an adventurous journey if he just tried; and instead he continued to
sit and stare at the paper in front of him. I took him to another
part of the room, and we sat on bean bags and I picked up one of my
favorite books from when I was younger, “Where the Wild Things
Are.” I started reading, and soon enough he was reading right along
with me. It took some time, but was one of my toughest challenges
became a huge success.

What has given me the most satisfaction volunteering, is that I am making
a difference in someone’s life by simply doing what I love. I have
learned many things from volunteering, but the major things would
have to be patience and understanding. I had to understand that just
because I loved to read, some of them really disliked it; and that
was okay. It taught me that I had to be patient because these
students were selected to be in the program by their rank in their
class and they really struggled with this skill.

Glancing into the future, I see my actions and time spent volunteering forward
looking because I have helped each individual student learn something
they may not have known before; and now they are able to use those
things forever. The change I hope to see is a change involving the
school system, and making the help those individuals need available.
I do believe my activities have made a long-lasting effect. I have
given forth many ideas that have helped the program flourish into
what it is now, and have gladly made a difference giving back through
my second nature.

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