Youth Forward scholarship 2016 – The Power of Volunteering

Name: Joey Narez
From: Wilmington, CA
Grade: 12th
School: Phineas Banning High School
Votes: 0

Among the extracurricular activities I have been involved in, I am most
proud of volunteering at my local span school’s after school
program, “Beyond the Bell”. There, I spent an entire year working
as a tutor for elementary and middle school students to further
expand their education outside the classroom. While I am sure my
impact was not grand nor life changing, I could certainly feel that
the children I worked with appreciated that I was able to take the
time to assist them.

One student in particular who I am sure appreciated my effort was a
second grader named Kevin, who had recently moved to the United
States from Mexico, and knew very little English. Upon meeting him,
my fellow volunteers and I made it our duty to not only get him
acquainted with the language, but to also raise his english reading
level as high as we possibly could. We practiced with Kevin almost
everyday that we saw him. Through our teaching and his quick sense of
learning, he was able to read at a second grade level by the end of
the year.

I am glad to have undertaken
this gratifying challenge, due to the reassurance it provided me. For
some time, I expressed interest in working as an educator, but was
reluctant to pursue this venture due to my lack of involvement in the
field. This experience convinced me that I indeed wanted to be an
educator. The praise I received from my supervisors for being able to
effectively teach the children also contributed to my realization. I
also was able to value the power education and responsible role
models so much more after this experience.

My time at “Beyond the Bell” taught me extremely invaluable
information about teaching and responsibility that I hope to apply as
a teacher in the future. Although my aspirations are to teach high
school and college students, this experience with younger children
served as an amazing stepping stone for my career in education.

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