Youth Forward scholarship 2016 – Volunteering to Eliminate Poverty

Name: Hannah Cote
From: Woodside, Delaware
Grade: Junior
School: Polytech High School
Votes: 0

Whenever I am volunteering, I think of the quote “changing the world always needs
its volunteers.” I want to change the world, and I know through
volunteerism I can make a difference in my community. The area that I
volunteer in is poverty. I choose to volunteer with organizations
working to eliminate poverty because you can help someone so much
physically, by constructing a home for them, and emotionally as well,
uplifting their spirits. I’m an active participant in Habitat for
Humanity, working with the homeowners and connecting with them and
sharing stories about our lives. Once a month I volunteer for
Habitat, spending 8 hours at a build site. Last summer I went on a
mission trip to West Virginia and spent a week rebuilding houses. At
the end of the week, we got to spend time with the people whose homes
we were working on. This time to reflect on the week was so important
and the true character of the homeowners was able to shine through;
they were so caring and appreciative of the work we did. When I’m
volunteering for Habitat, I participate in the construction process.
I do various jobs including lifting up trusses, nailing windows,
constructing walls, painting rooms, and spreading soil. Each time I
volunteer I’m doing a new activity; I love the diversity because it
allows me to learn so much. My biggest challenge as a volunteer is
finding the time in my busy schedule. Volunteering is a commitment,
not required, but I always try to set aside time, turning down other
opportunities. The most satisfaction that I’ve received from
volunteering is seeing someone’s face absolutely light up when they
see what you have worked on in their house. After seeing the face of
someone who has had such a tough life be so touched by your volunteer
work is so rewarding, knowing how thankful they are. Through my
experiences I’ve learned the importance of giving back to your
community. I believe it is your duty as a citizen to give back, and
altruism is such a valuable trait. I’ve learned that in order to
make a difference, you also have to get others involved in
volunteering as well. My volunteerism is forward looking because I’m
changing someone’s life for the future by providing them with a
safe environment to live in. To me, forward looking means to look to
the future and discover what needs to be done to prevent future
problems. In the world, the change that I am seeking to foster
through my volunteer activities is the change in one person’s life,
a change that can make a huge difference as well. I’m fighting to
end poverty and improve the living conditions of those suffering from
poverty, a very important issue to me and to the country. In 10, 20,
or 30 years I think that my volunteer activities would have made a
difference in the lives of families by providing a safe and healthy
home for future generations.

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