Youth Forward Scholarship 2017 – Long Term Love

Name: Valery Herrera
From: Lakeview , Oregon
Grade: Senior in high school
School: Lakeview Senior High School
Votes: 0

Term Love

to me means that you must give up your own personal time to benefit
someone other than yourself for no reward. I have been a volunteer at
my local long term care center for over three years. I chose to
become a volunteer to better the lives of geriatric patients that are
confined in a nursing home. I felt that by becoming a volunteer I was
helping make someone’s day more special. I tried to volunteer as much
as three days a week for about three hours a day and I would do my
best to go for extra time on the weekends. As a volunteer I would
help residents read books, do their hair and nails, or just simply go
on a walk. I was always willing to take time to learn more about
them. Keeping them occupied was a great way to help them stay busy
and live happier lives. One of the resident’s favorite activities
was to make homemade ice cream. My job was to help them make their
own ice cream and feed it to those who were paraplegic. It was a
great way for residents to bond and it gives them something to look
forward too. I felt good knowing that I was making someone’s day
easier or a little more enjoyable. One of my biggest challenges as a
volunteer was dealing with the lives of some residents. For example
there were several residents that were left there with no family
around for support, that were not able to take care of themselves.
There were residents that has serious diseases and illnesses that
left them unable to do tasks such as talk, go to the bathroom or even
walk. I felt like I should be that close family friend that someone
didn’t have, or go walk to get something for someone that wasn’t
able to do that for themselves. It’s very difficult to watch
someone’s last days being spent at a nursing home with no family or
comfort. I could be someone’s comfort as they pass or be there to
lift up their spirits on a bad day. Doing these tasks gave me a great
deal of satisfaction it made me feel good about making someone’s
life better. I enjoyed listen to the resident’s life stories, it
not only made them cheerful but it helped improve their memory and
made them feel good about the things that they have accomplished in
life. This made me feel like I was changing a little part of the
world for the better. I’ve learned so much from this position. I’ve
learned to cherish and appreciate the family that I have around me. I
now know that without the resident’s I wouldn’t have learned to
think about others before myself and to always do something that will
make someone’s day better. Today I work as a Certified Nurse’s
Assistant, and spend my days off visiting with the residents and
learning more about them everyday.

Join our Facebook group "Volunteers for a Better World".