Youth Forward scholarship 2016 – What Service Means to Me

Name: Andrea Sawyer
From: Rhinelander, Wisconsin
Grade: high school senior
School: Rhinelander High School
Votes: 0

Isabel Allende once said, “We only have what we give.” I completely agree with
this statement, which is why I have made a point to devote as much
time as possible to community service and helping others throughout
my life. By dedicating my time to community service, both my life and
the lives of others have been profoundly impacted. Through my
involvement in various community service clubs and my experience on a
mission trip, I believe I’ve touched the lives of many, while also
giving myself a whole new perspective.

To begin, I have been heavily involved in community service through my school for the
last four years. Some of my favorite projects were our holiday events
at various Elementary Schools. During Christmas time we helped
kindergarteners write letters to Santa, and for Valentine’s Day we
helped them make boxes for their Valentines. Spending a few hours
with the kids was a wonderful experience, and it was clear that they
had a great time too. These are just a few of the many service
projects I’ve participated in, as I have also volunteered at a
Blood Drive, a community gala, rice bagging for the hungry, a
Halloween Trail for kids, a dinner for the homeless, leaf raking, a
highway clean up, a 5K for charity, and much more. Being so involved
in my community has made me realize how rewarding it is to see the
impact just a few people can make.

In addition, one of the best volunteer experiences I’ve ever had was a mission trip
I went on this past summer to Detroit, Michigan. We volunteered for a
week in a small neighborhood, and spent our time painting houses,
planting gardens, and entertaining local children. Everyone we helped
was incredibly grateful, and it was such a wonderful experience. When
we arrived, several abandoned lots were overgrown with waist-high
weeds, and the streets were littered with hazardous garbage. By the
time we left, the lots were beautifully manicured and the streets
were clean and safe. Every day included long hours of hard work in
hot weather, but it was definitely worth it. Not only did the trip
have a huge impact on the residents of that neighborhood, but it had
an equally large effect on me. I have always loved giving my time to
help others, but after returning home from the mission trip I really
realized that I have a true passion for service.

In conclusion, the time I have spent participating in community service has not only
changed the lives of others, but my own life as well. I have been
given a new perspective, and am constantly looking for ways to
improve the lives of others. I know I will be just as involved in
community service throughout college and my entire adult life. I
truly believe that we are defined by what we do for others, and I can
proudly say that I live by this and will never stop dedicating my
time to service.

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