Youth Forward scholarship 2016 – The Value of Volunteerism

Name: Annelise Meador
From: Madison, Mississippi
Grade: 12th
School: Madison Central High School
Votes: 0

More often than not, community
service is seen as a chore or a task to be completed. However, the
volunteer donating their time is the one that truly benefits in the
end. I’ve always had a passion for people but I never knew how much
of an impact I could have on someone’s life until I started to
volunteer. Joining my school’s mentoring program has become one of
the most rewarding volunteer experiences for me. Every other day I go
to the elementary school and help my “little sister” with her
schoolwork for an hour and a half. Even though the program randomly
assigns mentors and kids, my “little sister” and I have a lot in
common. She struggles with reading and history just like I did when I
was her age. Her parents are also considering holding her back a year
in school. When I was held back in elementary school I was
devastated, but now I realize it was for the best. Looking back on it
now, I really regret all the time I spent being angry with my parents
and my situation when I should’ve just been having fun as a kid.
I’d like to make my “little sister’s” experience more
positive than mine and help her understand that this is a good thing.
Twenty years from now, I hope my “little sister” will realize
this minor setback was just one part of a gigantic plan.

In addition, I was also elected
as the councilwoman of the Junior Ambassador program for my high
school and helped enact many service projects, including the
Adopt-A-Floor program for Blair E. Batson Children’s Hospital. I
really enjoy working with young children and senior citizens. The
Senior Citizen Sock Hop at St. Catherine’s Retirement Village, for
instance, was an eye opening opportunity for me. It didn’t take
much for me to dress up in a poodle skirt and set up some tables, but
it meant a lot to those senior adults.

Going forward, I know that I will
always be involved in the community and look forward to volunteering
at special events. That night taught me a lot about quick thinking,
problem solving, and organization and communication skills. I
realized I loved the adrenaline rush that comes from working a public
event and have since decided this is an area I would like to explore
as a career. My plans for college are to major in Interpersonal
Strategic Communications and eventually become a Director of a
non-profit organization. As the future generation, I believe it’s our
responsibility to do some “forward looking” and be aware of the
needs in our community. I know that my degree will help me fulfill my
duty as a citizen and help meet the needs of those who surround me. A
lot of people look at this world we live in and only see problems;
I’d like to be the person to fix those problems and make our world
a little nicer to live in.

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