Name: Yesenia Valenton
From: Los Angeles, CA
Grade: 12th Grade
School: LA CAUSA YouthBuild
There are many things i’ve wanted to volunteer in but the one that caught
my eye was helping the youth grow and blossom into successful people.
In my school, LA CAUSA YouthBuild, I had decided to run for President
of the Policy Council. All the students ended getting in but before
they decided who won for president, we decided to all just be equal.
We were all viewed as equal members of the Policy Council.
In this group of students we had roles to play, I was in charge of the
money along with another student. We both kept track of the
fundraising money. We fundraised for our students school events. For
example, school barbeques, Grad nite, and Prom. The reason I
volunteered to be in this council was because even though we are
students, during Spring, Summer, or Winter break we all had to come
back and prepare for the new trimester. We helped organized “Mental
Toughness,” which is a week long orientation to see how willing our
students want to be in this school with so much opportunities. I also
volunteered to help clean up our school and help out as a T.A or i
would make calls out to recruit students. I would work as a
receptionist at the front desk and answer phones and receive messages
for the other staff. During break I would stay for the four to five
hours a day to help out staff. One of my biggest challenges in
volunteering was when I and other students had to run an activity
with over 40 students. This activity was difficult because we had to
learn how to be in charge but show them we are not more than them we
are also students. Some students didn’t listen because some felt
some of us were acting like “staff.” This challenge helped me
take in consideration other people’s feelings and way of viewing
certain things like how we were giving orders. I learned how to give
orders without ordering people around.
In my career, which is Substance abuse counseling, what i volunteered in
and what I learned as a volunteer will come in handy because I am
working with recovering addicts who might take offensive if i suggest
some stuff to them. After my volunteering with the students, I can
now speak to my clients in a more of suggesting matter, rather than
an ordering matter. My activities are forward looking because they
have helped me improve certain defects I had that could’ve affected
me in my future career. Forward looking to me, means that it might
benefit you in the future. I feel that what I did for my school was
very helpful and that I have shown to be a good leader and that
anyone can do this like me or maybe even better.
My volunteering in LA CAUSA YouthBuild, has been a really great
experience for me. It has taught me how to be more mature and more of
a leader. I had the chance to be a leader to leaders. These students
were broken when they came in, they were the “Misfits,” the
“Outsiders,” or “Outcasts” of their traditional school. They
needed our help to grow and be better people, for themselves. Now we
have students graduating and picking each other up to go to college.
Our school is very important to me because I am a creation of LA
CAUSA. This school did so much for me and that is why I do so much
for it. I will continue my help in my next school by helping them
believe they can do this too.