Youth Forward Scholarship 2017 – Volunteering with a Daycare

Name: Hannah Moi
From: Columbus, Ohio
Grade: 11
School: The Graham School
Votes: 0

a high school junior in 2015-2016, I volunteered with a daycare
called Indianola Children’s Center. I attend The Graham School, and
part of its curriculum requires its juniors to have an internship
that they go to for four hours every Tuesday and Thursday, for the
entire year. I chose a daycare because of my passion for young
children and because of how important I feel it is for them to be
permitted the proper environment to learn and grow.

Indianola Children’s Center, my responsibilities were almost
identical to that of the teachers’; I played with the children,
made sure the children were behaving, encouraged the children to
learn new things, and of course, cleaned up after the children. It
was a very rewarding experience because I wasn’t just given the
tasks no one else wanted (like some volunteers are), I was integrated
into the culture of their classroom. I developed relationships with
each child and watched them become more able-minded/bodied by the
day. I feel that that was the most satisfying thing: being invested
in those little babies and all of their potential. The most
challenging thing was definitely being faced with a conflict I didn’t
know how to handle appropriately. There would be times that two
children would get into an argument, and on occasion they’d resort
to hitting. I struggled with separating them and trying to teach them
better ways to express their feelings, because as you might expect,
it’s hard getting through to a toddler.

my time as a volunteer with ICC, I learned more about early-childhood
development than I ever knew before. I came to realize more clearly
that no child is exactly the same as the one sitting next to her/him,
and it is more fitting to handle each child individually rather than
assume one method of handling will work for the whole class. I feel
that my actions were “forward looking” in the sense that I helped
to raise a better generation, one with children who are more creative
and strong-willed because of how encouraged and nurtured they were
during their most formative stages. The way I see it, to do something
“forward looking” is to create a lasting effect on the world
through actions that have a domino effect, which is exactly what
raising a generation is. If you raise children to express themselves,
if you teach them that their individuality is vital, they will grow
up to be more purposeful and outspoken adults, which is more than I
could ever hope for.

this Summer, I will have a job at this very daycare, one that I got
very easily because of how successful my internship was. I am
grateful to see that I made enough of an impact that the directors of
Indianola Children’s Center want me back. I hope to keep nurturing
young minds and their infinite potential, and love my time there all
the while.

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