Name: Cameron Marie Stevens
From: San Antonio, Texas
School: James Madison High School
Volunteering is a way of life for me. I learned by example from my grandmother and
mom. It didn’t ever have to be a specific organization, but I
always saw them doing for others. I believe that everyone has time,
treasures or talents to share. I volunteer for groups that have
touched either my life or that of someone close to me. I have spent
over 600 hours volunteering the last 4 years.
I was diagnosed with celiac disease when I was
four. I know the gluten free diet is a fad these days, but for me, it
is a life or death choice. The Great Gluten Escape, a 7 day/6-night
camp for kids with celiac disease is one of my favorite volunteer
groups. I was a camper for 8 years, served as a junior counselor
last year and will go as a counselor this year. It is the most
amazing thing to see kids as they realize they don’t have to ask if
the food is safe for them to eat. It is humbling to be give back to a
group that helped me come to terms with celiac disease myself.
I have volunteered at Camp Independence, a 5-day camp for kids with
diabetes for 3 years. I was diagnosed at 14 with Type 1 Diabetes so I
can relate to these kids in a very personal way. I am able to share
what it is to live and thrive with this disease.
I volunteer with Habitat for Humanity because I believe in their
philosophy of a hand up, not a hand out. I have helped with my church
to raise the money to begin the builds of 4 homes. I am on the site
to help the actual build. I am part of a group that surrounds the
home in prayer as we write bible verses on every beam of the house.
My life has been so blessed; I feel the need to volunteer with many
other “little” groups. I have walked all night with Relay for
Life, volunteer at local elementary schools, am a team member for my
church youth group and sing in the choir.
My biggest challenge is that I don’t always have enough time to help
where I want to help. I am about to start at Texas State University,
where I will be majoring in education. The camps I volunteer at are a
huge help towards my future as a teacher. To me, forward looking is
always thinking about how what you are doing right now will affect
the future. I seek to make a change in the world by showing people
that volunteer work isn’t a chore, or something that is required to
graduate. The experiences you have are irreplaceable and the lives
you impact are immeasurable. My goal is that my love of volunteering
will cause a chain reaction with those around me and will make a
lifelong difference for our world or at least, my little piece of it.