Name: Zion Dwayne Blockson
From: ST PETERSBURG, FLORIDA
School: DIXIE HOLLINS HIGH SCHOOL
My commitment to volunteerism started at my local Bay Pines Veterans
Hospital where I have volunteered for the past 3 years. I
volunteered at the hospital during the summer of my sophomore, junior
and senior year 20-25 hours per week.
I remember that I wasn’t too thrilled when my Mother and my Uncle
told me that I would be volunteering at the hospital. My Uncle has
worked at the hospital for 30 plus years in the volunteering
department. My first couple of weeks there wasn’t as enjoyable as
the many, many summers there afterward. When it came time to leave
the first summer I volunteered there I didn’t want to leave.
When I first found out how many hours were required to volunteer for the
summer program I told them that I didn’t want to go. Now that is
an experience that I will never ever forget. I had heard stories
from friends about their volunteering experience and most of their
stories seemed to be quite impressive. Even though I never understood
why people volunteer without any type of compensation, little did I
know how valuable volunteering was going to be for me? Before I knew
it, day one of volunteering had arrived and I had no clue what to
expect or what values working for free was going to teach me. Upon
arriving, I was welcomed by a group of volunteers who seemed to be a
lot more excited than I was. They must have noticed the puzzled look
on my face because one of them told me not to worry.
I started my first summer there taking them their food that was
prepared for them by the cafeteria. That was a very exciting time
placing their tray so they could reach it without too much effort on
their part. I wanted them to enjoy eating their food as much as I
enjoyed bringing it to them.
My second and third year there I volunteered in the Physical Therapy
department this department was very special to me and my Uncle knew
that. My major in college will be “Kinesiology Sports Studies and
Physical Education”. Volunteering at the hospital taught me a
variety of things that would have never crossed my mind. I always
pictured volunteering as a long and dreadful experience, but if
someone had told me how heartwarming it can be, I would have started
a long time ago. Whatever physical aliment those veterans were
dealing with became my struggle as well.
I want to leave a legacy of giving hope to those who seem to have lost
their hope and given up on life. My desire is to one day they will
know that I continued to strive for what was right in this world and
gave to those who couldn’t help themselves.
I know I am a better person for my contributions and I will continue to
spread peace, love and hope in everyone I meet each and every day.