Name: Aaron Louis Atkinson
From: Hazel Green , Alabama
School: Hazel Green High School
I have volunteered by being a mentor
in the “School Resource Officer Summer Camp Program”. This program teaches about drugs and gang violence. I entered this camp as a member during my fifth grade year in elementary school and continued until my seventh grade year of middle school. Due to my maturity and leadership, my camp involvement progressed to camp mentor during my eighth year (a responsibility that is usually
bestowed to ninth grade high school students), and continued through my eleventh grade year; this responsibility highlighted my leadership
skills, guiding and mentoring 50 kids through the program. I chose this volunteer effort because my father is a police officer and he always stressed to me the importance of staying drug free in order to be successful in life. He also told me the horror stories about going to jail and the misery of jail life from a real point of view!
He said “everybody is tough until the jail door slams, then, they cry like babies for their mamas”. I really enjoyed being a mentor. however, my biggest challenge was sacrificing time during my summers
to volunteer. It was the hardest when I was younger. As I got older, I enjoyed the attention from the officers and made many friends over the years. I got the most satisfaction knowing that if I do the right
thing, others can see my example and do the same. I’ve learned someone is always paying attention to what you do. When you spend time with younger people, they will look up to you.
career goals are business
and finance. I plan to realize this goal through finance internships, networking, financial management associations and working extremely
hard for job placement.
into my future, the activities will allow me to continue to develop and expand my horizons as a young man. Looking forward to me is positioning myself to be able to provide for a family one day. I expect my volunteering to be paid forward. I hope some young man will make himself available to mentor my son or daughter. The efforts I
have put into speaking against drugs and gangs are timeless and have definitely made a difference because positive messages are sowing a good seeds and at some point reaping will result.