Youth Forward Scholarship 2017 – The Factors that Make People Want to Volunteer

Name: Keith Joseph Wilson
From: New Braunfels, TX.
Grade: 12
School: Smithson Valley High School
Votes: 0

Youth
Forward Scholarship Essay Submission:


The
Factors that Make People Want to Volunteer

By
Keith J. Wilson

Why
is volunteer work so satisfying? It involves building community bonds
and helping others. I think in terms of four important dimensions of
volunteer work.

The
first dimension is
Universality:
Activities that impact society by addressing some universal problem.
During August of 2016, I travelled to Laredo, Texas refurbish a house
there as part of a Habitat for Humanity project. This included
carpentry, painting, general maintenance, and support services in the
form of organized activities at the Holding Institute Community
Center. I worked on this project for a total of approximately 100
hours over a two week period.

The
second dimension I think of is
Local
Impact
:
Working in your own community. From 2012 to 2014, I volunteered as an
Assistant Coach in the Bulverde Little League, providing assistance
to Coach David Roseberry. My hours totaled about 30 per year, with a
grand total of 90 hours. I worked with players on fundamental skills
and taught the strategies and rules of the game they needed to play
effectively.

I
also think in terms of the dimension of
Personal
Interests
:
Activities that are very personal to the volunteer and his or her own
interests. My Mom is a Special Education Inclusion Teacher, and
through her I’ve learned a lot about kids with special needs.
Beginning in January of 2017, I began volunteering for the Challenger
Softball League as a Coach; Challenger baseball is a separate
division of Little League, founded to enable boys and girls with
physical and mental challenges to enjoy the game of baseball. Working
with this population has been my biggest challenge; each player is
unique in terms of their understanding and physical capabilities –
but it is my favorite volunteer activity thus far. It combines the
dimensions
Local
Impact

and
Personal
Interests.

I have volunteered a total of approximately 44 hours thus far in the
Challenger program.

The
final dimension I consider important for volunteer activities is the
Professional
dimension. In college, I’ll be taking classes in Chemistry and
Biology and then entering a Pharmacy program. My ultimate goal is
pharmaceutical research. After I become qualified in my profession, I
can envision volunteer opportunities that involve health education,
encouraging compliance in taking medication, patient support through
social media, symptom monitoring, and longitudinal drug research.

Communication
and teamwork are the most important elements for getting things done
on a volunteer project. I like to begin with “low hanging fruit”
so volunteers see quick progress. Sometimes, it’s necessary to
remind fellow team members how important accomplishing the work.

The
concept of being “forward looking” in volunteerism means making
an estimate of the value earned by volunteering. The volunteering
I’ve done does enrich lives, and will make a significant difference
20-30 years from now. This is most true for activities that involve
young people or people in distress.


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