Youth Forward scholarship 2016 – Keeping the World Nourished

Name: Wesley Willoughby
From: Waterford, Connecticut
Grade: College Freshman
School: Eastern Connecticut State University
Votes: 0

Keeping the World Nourished

By Wesley Willoughby

While I don’t currently volunteer as often as I use to (due to college),
I can still easily recall one of my volunteer experiences that I’ve
put the most dedication into. This particular experience was when I
volunteered at my local soup kitchen during holiday breaks. I chose
to work in this position, mainly because I felt that it was the best
one that could allow me to fulfill my high school demands, while also
learning new life skills. As previously mentioned, I typically worked
during vacation periods, specifically during spring break and the
summer. My shift consisted of a 2-3 day basis, for 4 hours each day.
Overall, my position was that of a general busboy, giving me various
tasks within the kitchen and food storage areas. These tasks would
often consist of cleaning the served dishes, sweeping the floors, and
assisting the chefs in preparing the food. In addition to that, I
would also assist the other volunteers in directly serving the food
to visiting homeless citizens, ensuring that each one receives an
equal amount food, and the food that they personally want. To me, the
biggest challenge in volunteering there came from working outside my
social comfort zone. Whether I’m in school, or out in public, I
have a very reserved mentality. While I’m not implying that I’m
antisocial, I am the kind of person who typically prefers the company
of himself. Working in a soup kitchen meant that I would have to step
outside my standard social norms, and be more vocally active than I
usually am. In the end, this belief would continue further on in my
life, as I’m still trying to be more socially outgoing. The biggest
satisfaction I got from volunteering was knowing that my actions were
towards making a positive difference in my community. This feels even
more awarding, thanks to being with the company of people who were
there to achieve the same goals. While that experience has taught me
several lessons, the most important value I learned from it was to
value the life others. While this is a belief that I’ve always
lived by, working in a position that has me assisting the less
fortunate signifies the importance of the idea, by helping me
understand and learn new ways of express it. Because of this, I feel
that I’ve become more matured, becoming more aware of the
importance to treat others in a kind and friendly manor, even if
you’ve never personally met them before. If you do this on a
frequent basis, you may even be rewarded for your services, just as I
have. To me, “looking forward” means anticipating the return of
the opportunity, something I hold to value. If I desire any sort of
change to my volunteer work, it would be to spread awareness amongst
my friends and associates, to encourage further involvement. I
believe my actions will help make a difference in the future.

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