Youth Forward scholarship 2016 – The Importance of Volunteering

Name: Emily Alexander
From: Ida, Michigan
Grade: High School Senior
School: Ida High School
Votes: 0

Importance of Volunteering

Scholarship. Leadership. Service. Character. These four words capture the essence
of those in National Honor Society. It was through NHS that I was
given the opportunity to make a difference in my community.

About a month into my junior year, I was given a letter that changed my
life forever. I was too nervous to open it at school, so I decided to
wait until the end of the day. When the final bell rang, I hurried to
my car clutching my fate tight in my hands. I ripped open the letter
and breathed a sigh of relief when I read the word congratulations.

When I attended that first NHS meeting, I finally figured out where I fit
in. Every person in that room was just as passionate as I was about
schoolwork and volunteering in the community. We began talking about
our upcoming service projects, and there were a few over the course
of that year that stuck out to me.

The first project I was in charge of was our annual Pennies for Patients
Fundraiser. Throughout February, I would go every day for an hour to
collect the money each class brought in and count it. That year our
school raised over one thousand dollars to donate to find a cure for
cancer. During my senior year, we raised two thousand dollars.

I have also enjoyed working with the elementary school for various
projects. Each year during March, we bring books over to the
elementary students to promote reading and doing well in school for
the whole day. Project Read gave me the opportunity to inspire
younger students that hard work pays off. I think it really helped
these kids see that school is important and can also be fun.

This year as secretary, I led the development of a new program called
Peers Accelerating the Learning of Students, or PALS for short. Each
NHS member meets with a gifted elementary student once a week to
challenge them in school. By meeting with these students, we are able
to make a difference in their lives and inspire them to enjoy school
and to pursue what they are passionate about. Hopefully our time
spent with them will encourage them to have success in high school.

By serving my community, I have been able to help those in need, and I
know what it takes to make a difference in my community. Being in NHS
made me aware of the importance to take on leadership roles in order
to improve the community and I’ve become able to encourage others
to succeed in life. I’ve realized that it doesn’t take much to
make a difference in another person’s life. Sometimes the most
powerful gift you can give is your time.

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