Youth Forward scholarship 2016 – Giving Back Life

Name: Alyssa C Reece
From: Long Beach, California
Votes: 37

Volunteering was by far the most wholesome aspect of my high school experience. I
decided to volunteer at a local no-kill animal shelter and pet store
because of my love for animals and desire to learn about customer
service. I volunteered four hours a week for four months, which was
approximately sixty-four hours. As a volunteer, I ensured customer
and pet satisfaction by helping secure safe homes for animals. The
cats and dogs in the shop were all rescued from shelters where they
potentially could have been euthanized, so I learned as a volunteer
how valuable each life is, and how to properly assist in matching a
pet to an individual or family to bring joy to the lives of the
animal and people.

As a volunteer, I was in charge of displaying organizational skills by keeping the shop
neat and clean and taking care of the animals in the store by
feeding, walking, and socializing them. My biggest challenge was
balancing my responsibilities by using time management skills to
complete all of my tasks during my four-hour shift. The most
satisfying part of the entire experience was the few times that I was
able to assist with pet adoptions and witness the joy fill the hearts
of the family or individual adopting the pet, and the happiness of
the animal as well. I experienced an emotional journey each week as I
would care for newly arrived pets, help older pets to get adopted,
and realized each innocent life that I cared for was a life saved.
The feeling of helping such a life-giving cause was indescribable.

Although the specific tasks that I typically performed in my position as a
volunteer will not likely be useful in my future, it is more about
the values that I acquired and transferrable skills that I learned
that will last a lifetime. I learned to value every life, to treat
all customers with respect, and to manage my time efficiently to be a
productive employee. This volunteering experience prepared me for the
part time job that I currently have at Chick-fil-A and the skills
that I acquired prepared me to be a successful student entering
college in the fall. I shared my experience with friends around me
and was even able to refer one of my friends, who ended up becoming a
volunteer at the shelter after I told her about it. I seek to create
change in the world by telling others about how wonderful my
volunteer experience was and encouraging the people around me to
enrich their lives by pouring into the lives of others through
volunteer work.

I absolutely believe that all volunteer opportunities make a
difference because even the smallest act of genuine kindness can make
the world of a difference in the lives of people (and in this case)
animals around you. I truly hope that my experience can inspire
others to make change in the world through volunteer work.

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