Youth Forward scholarship 2016 – Volunteer experiences

Name: Madison Landi
From: Diamond Bar, California
Grade: 12
School: Diamond Bar High School
Votes: 0

Madison Landi

April 4th, 2016

Volunteer Experiences

The area in which I have
chosen to volunteer in is in homeless shelters and food pantries
across Southern California. I chose homelessness because it not only
helps others, but makes me more appreciative of what I have in life.
Per month I usually volunteer four to five hours. I would love to
volunteer more, but unfortunately my work schedule is very demanding
and I rarely have time open for volunteering. My jobs and
responsibilities as a volunteer vary depending on where I decide to
volunteer. At the San Gabriel Valley Coalition for the homeless my
job was to prepare and distribute food to less fortunate families in
the Los Angeles area. When I volunteer on Skid Row I set up a tent
where we cook and prepare food for the homeless people on the streets
of Los Angeles. At first, my biggest challenge as a volunteer was
becoming comfortable around the homeless people that I was helping.
However, it only took a couple hours of volunteering to realize that
they are my equals and most of them have very kind a loving hearts.
As a volunteer the most satisfaction I have experienced is when a
person I am helping goes out of their way to genuinely look me in the
eyes thank me. Although this may seem like a small gesture, it is
very rewarding and it makes me feel as though my efforts are
appreciated. From my volunteer positions I have learned that it only
takes a couple hours a month to make a difference in your community.

I have also learned to be more appreciative and thankful for
everything my parents have given me. While it is very easy to get
caught in my life style and turn a blind eye to the suffering around
me, volunteering has made me become more aware of my surroundings.

In my future I want to become a scientist working towards the efforts of
ending the substantial issue of global warming. I believe that this
is forward looking because it is working to help sustain the future
of our planet. To me, forward looking means always being mindful
about the effects your decisions may cause in the future. Through my
volunteer activities I do not expect to change an entire society,
more realistically, I hope to change at least one life. Perhaps make
one little girl smile for the first time in days, or encourage a man
to change his outlook on life. I do believe that my volunteer
activities will make an impact on certain individuals in the future.
I am a firm believer in Martin Luther King Jr’s quote,
work is insignificant. All labor that uplifts humanity has dignity
and importance and should be undertaken with painstaking excellence.”

Join our Facebook group "Volunteers for a Better World".