Youth Forward scholarship 2016 – My Varying Volunteerism Vocation

Name: Jack A. Woxland
From: Houston, Minnesota
Grade: 12
School: Houston High School
Votes: 0

There were three main organizations that I worked with in the past four or
five years. WCYC, or Wisconsin Christian Youth Camp, JPUSA, or Jesus
People USA, and finally, my local baptist church. I had a few jobs
that I could’ve done for WCYC, but I ended up working as kitchen
staff for a grand total of nine weeks so far. JPUSA was a smaller
amount of time, but I the amount of work we did over those two
weekends made it feel just as long as WCYC! Lastly, I worked with my
church to help set up and help with Vacation Bible School, more
commonly known as VBS. These three experiences offered a lot of
things that I could not have gotten in any other settings.

There were many challenges and obstacles that I had to face. The hardest of
these had to be with JPUSA. They operated a clothing shop and a soup
kitchen for the homeless. The largest obstacle was seeing all of the
poverty and terrible situations that these poor people were in. The
situations they had to overcome every day and week was so
unbelievably terrible. I felt I couldn’t even make any difference,
as their situation was so awful on an incredibly large scale. After
it settled in, I was able to realize that any little thing was
greatly appreciated by the people I was helping, and that it wasn’t
just me making the difference. There are hundreds of youth groups
that visit throughout the whole year, and mine was just one of them.
Together, we were able to make a difference. The power of teamwork is
incredible, isn’t it?

WCYC housed many opportunities for myself to help in a team as well.
It was much less direct in the work, however it was still vital to
keep the camp running. I was always behind the scenes, so the campers
don’t really know how much I end up doing, but seeing them
appreciating my efforts is enough. I’d be crazy if I thought I
could run that whole thing by myself, so again, the power of teamwork
is vital for making the camper’s lives easier. Some of them come
from abusive, impoverished, or depressing backgrounds, so I truly
hope that all our work at WCYC makes a difference for them. As
powerful as the experience in Chicago was, I believe helping children
have a two week solace from the cruel world trumps it for me. It has
taught me that it is possible for me to make a significant difference
alone. Many kid across the USA and even other countries know my name.
I hope that I have been able to make a difference in their life, as
they most certainly have in mine.

I truly believe that in ten or twenty years I will still be working at
WCYC, as it is so integral to my life. It helped shape who I am
today, and I want to give back my help and make it so they can go on
influencing many more generations in the future. It’s less of a
question of will my volunteerism bend to my life, but will my life
bend to my helping. The answer is most certainly yes. I have already
begun to plan my life around going back to WCYC every summer
possible. In college, I’m most definitely going to, and beyond
that, when I enter the job market, I have every intention to take two
weeks off and continue my work.

you for reading. (:

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