Youth Forward scholarship 2016 – The Impact of Volunteering on my Life

Name: Brandon Plyler
From: Athens , West Virginia
Grade: College Freshman
School: Concord University
Votes: 0

Brandon Plyler


Semester Reflection

Throughout high school I always wanted to get involved with helping the community and
serving people. No matter what the service or task I always wanted to
be involved, but the main task I wanted to complete was to serve
younger children especially in sports. Sports are always going to be
a big part of my life but being able to serve younger children that
are athletes makes the service that much more heart warming. I know
how much someone’s time and encouragement can benefit someone at such
a young age. Children are more accepting to an older person
especially if they share the same love for sports as they do.

During the fall semester of my freshman year I wasn’t able to partake in any
community service or volunteer work due to a hectic schedule and
football that consumed most of my time. At the beginning of the
spring semester I heard about the Bonner Program. I knew people in
Bonner which encouraged me to get involved with the program. Once I
learned more about Bonner; I knew I had to join. I applied as soon as
possible and in a couple of weeks I was officially a Bonner student.
I knew this would be a great opportunity to help and serve the
community. The first thing I had to do was to choose a service that
was suitable for me. Having the love and passion for sports I choose
to volunteer at the Princeton Recreation Center. I also knew with
choosing the Princeton Recreation Center I would be able to interact
and help with the younger kids. I was able to go in the gym and play
basketball with the younger kids.

Getting this opportunity to volunteer at the Princeton Recreation Center was an
amazing experience. I was able to meet and work with some amazing
people. The younger kids and high schoolers I met were really open to
what I had to say and offer them. This really inspired me to serve
the community more and get involved with the people around you. With
this opportunity to volunteer at the Princeton Recreation Center, it
really opened up my eyes to how important serving the community
really is. It also helped me realize how someone’s generosity and
commitment can benefit someone’s life. With that being said serving
the community has become a huge part of my life. In the future I plan
on continuing serving and giving back to the community in any way

Community service is part of my life, something ordinary rather than extraordinary,
part of life’s journey rather than a goal, destination or high
school graduation requirement. As long as I can remember service to
others was modeled and encouraged by my family and teachers. To say
how I have been transformed in past tense paints an incomplete
picture because I am still learning and growing, both being shaped by
the process of service and shaping the process by which I serve.
This much I can say with certainty: we all have something to give,
and a life of service expands one’s world exponentially and

It is easy to feel too small to make a difference as only one of more than seven billion
people on this planet. Even the smallest candle is capable of giving
light, and when tiny candles burn together a room, a life or a cause
can turn into a fire of hope and change. The simplest action can
initiate a ripple effect that spreads around the world. What I can
never hope to do alone may be possible with the shared efforts of
others. Whether it is filling sandbags to prevent flooding, walking
in the Relay for Life, or helping a shy child discover there talents
through a summer football camp, each day brings another opportunity
to serve, share, learn and grow.

Our culture sends strong messages to seek one’s own self-interest first, to amass as
much as one can, and to consume without regard for one’s neighbor.
In contrast, community service encourages me to actively listen and
learn from others, to walk alongside my neighbor, and to build new
relationships. The transformative effect of service continues to
mold and shape my life, giving me reason to light my small candle
every day in hope of a better world.

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