Youth Forward Scholarship 2017 – Fostering the Seeds of a Better Future

Name: Benjamin Gregory Seaberg
From: Everett, WA
Grade: Junior in 2015-2016 Senior in 2016-2017
School: Everett High School
Votes: 0

Fostering the Seeds of a Better Future

I have obtained an extremely diverse range
of experiences as I have volunteered throughout my high school
career. However, one location has provided me significantly more
opportunity to grow as a person than others. This change has been
realized through my time spent volunteering at my local Cascade Boys
and Girls Club to assist both staff and youth in need. By donating my
time to this cause, I have learned both skills and morals to assist
me in my future, both in life-management and in everyday situations.

I have volunteered over 650 hours in my
local community in various capacities, ranging from a wrestling coach
for a local club, theater technician for my old middle school, or as
a general laborer for my high school. However, I have been most
active at the Boys and Girls Club, where I have assisted members for
over 300 hours alone, mostly during the summer, where I would
typically visit the organization for roughly eight hours on Mondays,
Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, helping employees by cleaning the
facility, tending to crops seeded in a small planter, leading group
activities such as arts and crafts, cooking and dishing mealtime
snacks, and also by simply acting as a “big buddy” to attendees
who looked as if they could use a friend to brighten their day.
Volunteers needed to be willing to assist in any of the situations
that may arise in the occasionally frenetic environment of the Club.

My time spent at this location has fostered
both practical skills and morals. Before assisting the Club, I lacked
the ability to direct others. I was forced to learn this quickly as I
shepherded groups of children between activities, and later
instructing other volunteers and assigning tasks to them.
Additionally, the Boys and Girls Club has been instrumental in
helping me cope with High-Functioning Autism, a disability that,
while making me more apt to acquire academic knowledge, causes
sensitivity to loud environments and inefficiency in communication.
Both of these struggles changed while volunteering at the Club, as I
was required to work with numerous children without losing efficiency
or friendliness due to overloaded senses. My ability to organize
thoughts was crucial in ensuring that youth were able to comprehend
instructions and expectations for proper behavior.

I did not simply donate my time to have a
point of pride for my resume, but instead as an activity to
potentially create a brighter environment for those who come after
me. Volunteering has given me a sense of satisfaction like no other,
as I have found a way to create meaningful impact in the lives of
others by helping youth. Assisting at the Boys and Girls Club has
been a life-altering experience for me as it has allowed me to
improve myself while providing positive service for others. I truly
hope that by donating to children, I may inspire a new generation of
volunteers that would share in a common dedication to improve the
future of others.

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