Youth Forward scholarship summer 2016 – The fulfillment of Selfless Acts

Name: Jena Brooks
From: Peoria, Illinois
Grade: 12th
School: Dunlap High School
Votes: 186


High School

Fulfillment of Selfless Acts

The choice to volunteer opens up the door to a world that tends to be
forgotten in the busyness of our mainstream culture. Most people,
especially young adults, are constantly making choices to benefit
their lives. Every person longs to seek and grasp their purpose in
the world. When they dive into the nature of offering their gifts up
for the good of others, the young can find what they’ve been
longing for: fulfillment. Volunteering has helped to guide me on the
path of a purposeful life. It has allowed me to dive deeper and learn
more about who I am as a young adult. Most importantly, it has
allowed me to grow in my faith in God.

For the past three years I have volunteered at a program my church offers
for children ranging from the ages of three to six. The program is
called Catechesis of the Good Sheppard. According to, “The
child, particularly the religious life of the child, is central to
the interest and commitment of the Catechist of the Good Shepherd.
The catechist observes and studies the vital needs of the child and
the manifestations of those vital needs according to the
developmental stage of the child.” It is accompanied by the vision
of Montessori learning. This kind of curriculum allows a child to
experience religious education in an authentic way. Catechesis of the
Good Sheppard allows a child to flourish in decision making and

As a classroom aid I have the responsibility of aiding the children when
they complete their works and presentations. I volunteer about two
hours each week, and then in the summertime I volunteer a total of
ten hours for the summer program. As I approach my senior year of
high school I have completed a total of three hundred hours of
community service. Most of which has been through youth-based
programs offered at my church. I have had the opportunity to convey
the truth of the gospel in a unique teaching method. The biggest
challenge has been approaching education in a way I had never
experienced as a student. As a classroom aid, I spend the majority of
my time observing the child rather than lecturing. The education is
very hands-on and I have to respect the imagination of the child.
There is not much discipline that is necessary in the classroom.

I have received the satisfaction of growing in my own Catholic faith. I
hope to major in Applied Communication Studies. This experience of
Catechesis of the Good Sheppard has allowed me to experience how
children communicate while learning. I can carry this knowledge on
into my future career. As I look forward I believe that these
children will carry on the skills for their future ventures in
education. They will not lose that authenticity and creativity they
have gained. My volunteerism has paved the way in their journey with
God. This experience has allowed me to fall in love with young
children and value preschool education. I have experienced the joy of
selflessness; living for the common good of the people around me.

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