Youth Forward scholarship 2016 – passion for volunteerism

Name: Selena A. Perez
From: McAllen, Texas
Grade: 2nd years of College
School: South Texas College
Votes: 0

My passion for volunteerism is displayed through my experiences. In high
school, I was part of several volunteer-based clubs, including
Sociedad Honoraria Hispanica, Spanish Club and Student Counsel, they
took part in several community-outreach events. Each community event
I attended was to build my character and appreciation for the blessed
life I live. One of the most memorable moments was my first year in
Sociedad Honoraria Hispanica ; with my church family, we prepared and
served meals to the homeless people living in Pueblo de Palmas,
Peñitas Texas. The connections one can build with face-to-face
contact is rewarding and unforgettable. Both of these journeys were
the best experiences of my life. Together, with my youth group, we
travelled to these impoverished areas and built the foundation to a
new church, sidewalks, and living facilities. We also had the
opportunity to teach Bible lessons and play with the children living
in the communities. On my most recent, my youth group organized a
pick-up soccer game for those living in the area. To our surprise,
the entire community came to support and play. People were cheering
for both teams, and everyone had a smiling face. Knowing that their
compassion is genuine and that they appreciate my presence and
service, is the most satisfactory feeling. Volunteering reminds me
that the most important things in life come from the interactions and
relationships you have with others. The context from where you come
from is trivial, but rather the content of your life is what is
important. The biggest challenge as a volunteer is evident: saying
goodbye. The truth from the people I met, the stories shared, and the
connections built, stay close to my heart. From my experience, mental
preparedness is of equivalent significance to physical readiness. I
met the most appreciative, inspiring, and genuinely happy people—they
motivate me to continue my work in other communities. My work and
love for helping others continues at UMass Amherst. I am a board
member for the club MEDLIFE, an organization aimed to help families
achieve greater freedom from the constraints of poverty, while
empowering them to live healthier lives. MEDLIFE organizes trips to
impoverished nations where members improve access to medicine,
education, and community development. I attend meetings and
participate in events in our local town. I look forward to helping
people through the MEDLIFE program, and hope to attend several trips.
In a way, community service is a form of vacation: taking a break
from your ordinary life and experiencing something different. I hope
to share my stories with people in my community about these trips,
and to inspire them to go serve. Volunteering is not only a gain
forthe people you are serving, but a rewarding gain for yourself.

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