Youth Forward scholarship 2016 – Volunteerism

Name: Ja'La Janira Brown
From: Lanett, Alabama
Grade: 11th
School: Lanett High School
Votes: 0

Early in life, I realized that my passion for helping others was great. I can remember assisting others and finding immediate gratification. This still holds true today as I have chosen to dedicate my time and energy to volunteering at the local nursing home and daycare centers. Being a member of the Key Club, a service organization, has provided me with opportunities to volunteer in several other settings. It has taught me the importance of selfless service, which is what volunteering is
all about.

Volunteering does not have to consume all one’s time; one just has to be committed to doing so. At the nursing home, I volunteer approximately fifteen hours a week over a course of three days.
There, I am responsible for coordinating and inviting residents to fun activities such as B-I-N-G-O, manicure hour, chorus and free time. If the residents choose to attend, I then have the pleasure to
assist and lead them to the activity room where they are able to enjoy light snacks and socialization time.

Although volunteering is rewarding, it can also be challenging as one has to have the ability to immediately adjust to personalities and situations. Remaining in a comfort zone is a hindrance to volunteer work; therefore, I never develop a comfort zone as volunteering offers impromptu circumstances that may require me to go above and beyond what I know as normal. Nevertheless, I have learned that it is better to give than to receive and in this case, it is better for
me to help others than look for ways to benefit myself. It is quite satisfying to go home at the end of a volunteer round realizing that I have helped someone have a better day.

My volunteer experiences, as well as my favorite subjects in school (math and science), have influenced my career choice in life. I would like to become a biomedical engineer so that I will have the opportunity to combine engineering principals and biological sciences to design and create equipment, devices, computer systems and software that can be used to enhance the quality of life for those in need as well as make a difference in the world of healthcare. Without my volunteer experiences, I would not have had a chance to develop and deepen my love for helping others.

I am looking forward to all the new and wonderful opportunities in the future. Because volunteering has already help conform me into a caring, passionate, selfless, giving and responsible person, it can
only lead to a promising and progressive life but only if I continue to nurture those qualities with more volunteer opportunities. This is what is needed to have a successful career in biomedical engineering. I encourage all people, not just my peers, to pursue volunteer experiences. If I were to come to back twenty years later, I do think that volunteering would have made a difference. It is through these opportunities that lifelong friendships and connections are made.

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