Youth Forward Scholarship 2017 – Volunteering and Self Reflection

Name: Yolanda Rios
From: CHICAGO, Il
Grade: 12
School: Prosser Career Academy
Votes: 0

My
area of volunteer is community, and from the experiences I have with
this, I have learned a lot of different things about the community
and about myself. Before I volunteered for any public service, I did
not think it was necessary because there was nothing I could get out
of it. I now think very differently, and focusing on a specific
activity I was part of in my freshmen year, the experience was
rewarding. It was mid-January and to celebrate MLK day, I went to a
church to volunteer in handing out food. This was the first service
activity I did. When I entered the church I saw a lot of canned food
and I had to organize the cans and fit them into boxes. I was then
told to register or check-in the people that were going in and
getting food. This was exciting because I was writing down people’s
information and I felt important, looking at everyone’s
identification and asking questions. Although my job was important,
it was nothing compared to the people that manage it all, clean, and
are part of the church every day.

This
activity was nice because I got to see a lot of different people and
interact with them. This experience made me realize my ignorance in
regards to how there are people not as privileged as myself. I
realized that even though I complain a lot about my problems, I have
my family, a home, and food. A lot of people would consider these
luxuries and for me they are just basic things that I have always
had. I see the problems I complain about are so small compared to the
problems other people have. For the service activity I saw that the
only volunteers were two other people and myself, and this made me
think how not a lot of people volunteer for public service.

Now
as I look back and reflect on this day I feel great about doing
public service because it affects people, even if it just affects one
person. The service I did impacted the community in a positive way.
People were able to get the food that they needed without any
problems. A lot of people were really nice and grateful, even towards
me although I was not doing much. I was happy that people were happy
and did not have to worry about getting food. This service activity
was rewarding because I got to meet different people of all ages and
backgrounds. I also had the chance to meet nice, friendly people that
work for the shelter. I have not gone to that church since then but I
look forward to doing so soon. Because of this service I was inspired
to volunteer in other places like nursing homes, and even cleaning up
littered trash in parks around my community. Public service has
helped me care for my community and recognize my strengths and
weaknesses.


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