Youth Forward scholarship 2016 – Life of a Volunteer

Name: Huyen Anh Nguyen
From: Worcester, MA
Grade: High School Senior
School: Holy Name Jr. Sr. High School
Votes: 15

To me, giving up some of my time during the week and/or weekend to serve
and help others in the community is a sacrifice that is totally worth
it. Volunteering has brought much joy and happiness into my life.
Through volunteering, I am able to relieve stress by forgetting about
my own selfish problems and reverting all my attention to those I am
helping by simply focusing on them and their needs. Volunteering has
positively broaden and impact my outlook of life in many ways and has
allowed me to open up and to be a more appreciative individual.

Throughout the school year, during the months of February and November, and for
four weeks during the summer, I volunteer at the Worcester
Partnership Program. The Worcester Partnership Program is a program
that operates through donations and fundraising. The program was
first put together in 2003 by Mr. Charlie Alekseciwz. The Worcester
Partnership program started out with 10 students. Today, the
Worcester Partnership Program is offered to students who are or had
attended Elm Park Community School (ages kindergarten through 8
grade) and has expanded to over 150 students. The purpose of this
program is to help unprivileged students who come from troubled
and/or financially struggling families. The program gives these
students the opportunity to learn the importance of having an
education, of teamwork, of respect, and of giving back to others and
staying active within the community. The program challenges its
students to be the best versions of themselves and gives its students
the chance to discover themselves. I have been part of this program
since 2004. I was part of the group of selected students and have
been part of the program since then. Through the nature walks with
Mason, reading and math classes with Jeff Sposato and Kris, art
classes with Mrs. Moore, gym class with Mr. O’Brien, my love for
school, nature and sports grew. Because of the Worcester Partnership
Program I was able to discover who I really am and what I am capable
of doing/accomplishing. In addition, I also learned the importance of
trust, of kindness, and of loyalty when it comes to making and
retaining a friendship. Now considered as graduate, I return to the
program every summer to help the teachers and students. The bonds and
friendships that are formed within the four weeks, the smiles on the
students’ faces, and witnessing the students’ transition through time
are what motivates me to return each year.

I also volunteer at Umass Medical School, located in Worcester, MA. I
am a volunteer in the endocrinology department. I have been
volunteering here since sophomore year. I started volunteering in the
Radiology Department where I spent most of my time in the CAT rooms
and around patients in the ICU. Volunteering in a hospital brings
much excitement because I able to witness the doctors and nurses help
patients. It fascinates me how much patience, teamwork, and composer
are essential within a hospital. In addition, I enjoy helping the
nurses clean and sanitize the fitting rooms and helping them file the
patient folders. I also enjoy help making labels for the physician’s
schedule/calendar. When I volunteer at Umass Medical School, I am not
only able to witness the good deeds and actions of the doctors,
nurses, physician’s assistant, etc., but I am able to see and realize
how essential teamwork, love, trust, and care are in order for any
business, company, hospital, etc. to thrive and be successful.

I also volunteer at Our Lady of Vilna Rectory Church. As a Confirmed
student, I am a student teacher for the fifth grade class. I have
been volunteering as a student teacher since Sophomore year.
Volunteering as a student for the Church’s CCD classes has brought
both joy and pain to my life and faith. The classes are usually ran
by parents who dedicate some of their time to teach and empower the
students and their faith. However, the students are usually
unresponsive because do not understand the lesson which usually turns
into long lectures. Through time, this eventually lead to a lot of
students skipping class and/or leaving the Church. Thus, I along with
many other Confirmed students decided to volunteer as a student
teachers to help bring the faith, fun, and focus back to CCD class.
Through volunteering every week in Sunday, I was able to become close
to the fifth grade class. Having the privilege of attending a
Catholic School, I was able to briefly give a lesson each week about
God and faith. Through the lesson, I encouraged the students to apply
the lesson to their own lives. In addition, to make the class more
interactive, games and activities are frequently involved after each
lesson. Almost all students participated in the games and activities
(plays/skits, vocab-slap, Pictionary, hangman, team games, etc.)
while the other kept score/tally. Volunteering, I also developed very
strong bond s with the students. Once in awhile, we would have story
time. Story Time was a time of reflection and sharing. During story
time, the students listened and learned from each other. The students
took turns telling weird, funny, sad, etc. stories that they
experienced or heard of. The class would be filled of laughter and
jokes one moment and moments later would be completely silent when it
was another student’s turn to tell his/her story. The students would
ask for my advice and in turn, I would ask them for their advice.
Volunteering has brought both joy and stress to my life. The joy
comes from knowing that I am positively impacting someone else’s life
and helping them to simply have a better day. The stress when
teaching fifth graders comes from when the students get off topic,
asking immature questions, or when they become too loud and are
disrupting other classes. However, through both the positives and
negatives, volunteering as a student teacher for the fifth grade
class has brought much joy and happiness to my life and has allowed
me to be more compassionate, patient, and understanding of others.

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