Youth Forward Scholarship 2017 – A Weird Variety of Volunteering

Name: Madison Burtan
From: Rehoboth, Massachusetts
Grade: 11th
School: Dighton-Rehoboth Regional High School
Votes: 0

Madison
Burtan

A
Weird Variety of Volunteering

My
first big experience with volunteering was at a summer camp,
sponsored by the Boys & Girls Club, where I worked with kids,
ranging from ages four to thirteen, from all over Massachusetts and
Rhode Island. I worked as a program aid for two summers for over one
hundred hours. I discovered working with children required a lot of
energy and patience, but I found that I always grew attached to a few
of the kids. I would even be sad sometimes about not seeing those few
special kids during the school year. I also attended this camp, from
ages nine to thirteen, which helped me want to give back to it. I had
so many fond memories of camp that I wanted to ensure it would stay
fun for the next few generations. If I had inspired or pleased one
kid at this camp, I did enough.

Then,
I was lucky enough to attend a leadership conference my sophomore
year of high school. It was the MA HOBY conference and it was only a
weekend, but it brought me back to volunteering. I encountered many
different types of people and had a great time even though I was
hesitant about going at first. I listened and watched leaders in
action, I learned teamwork skills, I bonded with other great leaders,
and I felt satisfied for the first time in months. Although I had
become busy with school and afterschool activities, I missed
volunteering. When I volunteered, I would feel accomplished,
motivated, and lively. So I decided to volunteer at my local library
for awhile. For an hour and a half, I shelved books, collected books
on hold, and did any other tasks the librarians needed accomplished.
I did this for about seven months and I really enjoyed it. Libraries
are a necessity in modern society. People need to continue to read to
become educated. I found a routine while volunteering here and
enjoyed keeping my local library successful!

This
year, I was very excited to get offered an internship with the GAMM
theater. I would be an education intern. I would go to schools in
Pawtucket to help out with a afterschool program called COZ. I would
get to help teach kids about theater with another teaching artist. I
started in early October and will finish in June. It is hard work and
I am exhausted from spending an hour and a half with kids, but I find
myself learning and growing from this experience. The kids are
energetic, creative, and carefree and they inspire me to enjoy life
more and stress less. Even though it is difficult working with some
of the kids with behavioral issues, I know I have to. These kids need
this program more than they know. Keeping kids creative is so
important especially because creative people become the
problem-solvers of the next generations. Although some of the kids
are difficult to work with, I know I will always have to deal with
difficult people so I stay patient and empathetic. I have grow
attached to many of the kids at the schools already and I can’t
wait to see how the program enables them to grow and learn in a
positive, judgement-free environment.


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