Youth Forward scholarship 2016 – For the Little Lads

Name: Dave Nino Rubilla
From: South San Francisco, California
Grade: 12
School: South San Francisco High School
Votes: 0

For the Little Lads

Helping in the development of younger children has always been an interest of
mine. With that, I volunteered at a local Boys and Girls Club of
America. I had never been a part of their system, but I was drawn to
the type of work they did for the community, specifically for the
children. The community outside the club is generally seen as
troubled and impoverished. Because of this, the building was a safe
haven in which I felt that it was my responsibility to ensure these
kids find a better future for themselves. For eight hours a week, I
would stop by to simply help the people there. I helped the kids with
their homework, then played and supervised them. Overall, I wanted to
make sure that I guided them to learn proper social and academic
skills that they would hopefully carry with them as they grow up.

Volunteering there, I gained a greater sense of appreciation and awareness of the
community. From helping kids with different backgrounds to simply
watching senior citizens play Monday night bingo, I was able to
actually witness, experience, and be a part of the community. Prior
to volunteering, I knew that a community existed but I didn’t
know
the community. Through being put into an entirely new environment with
people already knowing each other, I was able to develop my own
social skills. With supervising kids, I wanted them to see me as
someone to listen to however not intimidating. When I was first
volunteering, I often noticed that kids seemed to see me as someone
“above” them, as someone they had to listen to out of fear
of getting in trouble for not doing so. To remedy that fear, I began
to occasionally kneel in individual interactions so that I would be
close to eye-level with them. After a while, I noticed that kids were
getting more comfortable with approaching me, some even preferring I
stay close in case they needed help or wanted my company.
Volunteering with kids ultimately refined my communication skills and
,through that, allowed me to better know the local community.

The first challenge I encountered was adjusting to the new social
environment. I’m used to keeping my myself after school, but
volunteering allowed me to socialize and successfully build
relationships with the people I worked with. I was able to eventually
overcome my initial shyness through actively putting myself out there
and socializing with people. Other than that, the main challenge was
working with difficult children, those that were easily
distracted/distracting and didn’t listen. At first, I was patient and
calmly convinced some kids to eventually listen to me. However, a
select few were especially difficult to deal with, at which I simply
asked the leader of the Boys and Girls Club to handle them
individually.

Overall, my greatest feeling of satisfaction came from knowing that I was
helping and giving less fortunate kids tools to help better their
futures.


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