Youth Forward scholarship summer 2016 – Give to Children, Give to the Future

Name: Nanditha Lakshmanan
From: Livingston, New Jersey
Grade: Freshman
School: New Jersey Institute of Technology
Votes: 0

I have engaged in many volunteer endeavors in high school and college.
What my volunteer jobs all have in common is that they all served to
help children in some way.

In high school I volunteered at my public library, taking up various
tasks including being a part of our town’s Teen Advisory Board
(which set up events for the town at the library), helping the
librarians with their afterschool kids’ programs, and teaching
children how to read during the summer. Teaching children how to read
was one of my favorite tasks because I learned how to accommodate
children with different learning methods and abilities. I volunteered
at the library from my sophomore year of high school until my senior
year of high school. I would go to the library after school two or
three days a week, volunteering for an hour or more each day. By the
end of high school I had accumulated approximately 200 volunteer
hours at the library.

During my junior and senior year of high school I also volunteered in the
pediatric wing of St. Barnabas Medical Center. This volunteer
experience was particularly invaluable for me because I hope to
become a physician in the future. This volunteer experience taught me
the importance of doctors exercising personalized care with the
patients, and the importance of maintaining a calm, healing
environment in hospitals. I loved being able to do my part in helping
patients heal. I volunteered at the hospital once a week, for three
hours a week.

During my freshman year of college I participated in a tutoring program for
students in a nearby Newark elementary school. As a part of this
program, I became a mentor to two students and taught them math and
reading. Working with the girls was enjoyable because I could
actually witness the progress that they were making as the months
progressed. Volunteering in the elementary school taught me the
importance of cultivating minds at a young age and encouraging them
to strive for excellence. I volunteered at the elementary school once
a week for two hours a week.

I truly believe that children are the future. When I was volunteering
either in the library or the hospital or the elementary school, it
never felt like work. I always felt good after volunteering with the
kids because I knew in some small way I might have made a difference
in their lives. The kids who I taught to read during the summers in
high school became much more interested in books as a result of the
program. The kids who I tutored during college started to see their
grades improve and also grew to understand the importance of good
grades. I hope that the kids who I worked with decide to donate their
time when they’re older and help out in their communities. In this
way, the cycle of giving continues.

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