Youth Forward Scholarship 2017 – Giving Back To My Elementary School

Name: Alexandra Tulowiecki
From: Syracuse, New York
Grade: Senior in High School
School: Syracuse University
Votes: 0

Giving Back To My Elementary School

give back to my community because of what my community gave to me
growing up. I chose to volunteer my time tutoring elementary age
children in a program known as “Big Buddies”. I chose to tutor
these children because it is important for children at this age to
know that someone out there cares about their work and their futures.
I also chose this specific volunteer work because the poverty rate in
my hometown has increased greatly over the years, so these children
aren’t given much attention outside of the classroom. I volunteered
once a week for an hour after school for 4-5 months my senior year of
high school. I was responsible for helping these students with their
homework, specifically their math and English homework. I was also
responsible for working with these students on study skills and time
management. My biggest challenge as a volunteer was explaining to
these kids the importance of school, and that these skills will lead
to success in their future. Most of the kids did not see the point in
school, and didn’t want to do their homework. They were not
motivated, and I had to help provide that to them. I was given the
most satisfaction when at the end of the program, one of the children
I worked with gave me a hug and told me how important I was to them.
The child had a difficult home situation, and they felt that I had
helped them escape from that for just a little bit of time that I
spent with them. I learned many things working with elementary age
children. I learned that it is important to provide them praise,
because many weren’t told that they were smart at home. Providing
compliments to these children was extremely important.

career goal is to become a social worker, so volunteering with these
children aligned with what I want to do someday. I’m not exactly
sure if I want to be a social worker with this specific age, but I
know that I do want to help others, as I did with these children
during “Big Buddies”. The activities I choose to participate in
are “forward looking” because they all have to do with my future
career goal. The time I spend volunteering is focused on helping
others, as I will when I am eventually a social worker. To me,
“forward looking” means that the activities and situations I am
involved with all are focused on my future. I am looking to change
the lives of children that have difficult home situations. I want to
inspire them and become a role model to them so that they can become
successful in their futures. Unfortunately, I do not believe that my
volunteer activities would have “made a difference” at the
specific school I volunteered at, but I do hope that my volunteer
work “made a difference” in the lives of the individuals I worked

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