Name: Samantha Danielle Schroeder
From: Cocoa, Florida
School: Florida Virtual School
To volunteer is to willingly give your time to help others with no
financial gain. Many teens and young adults participate in some form
of volunteering in their life. I have, and will continue to
volunteer. I chose to volunteer with a middle school drama class. I
became involved in this through a friend, whose mother was the
director of the school’s musical. I asked to be involved because
theatre has been a large part of my life since elementary school.
This was a chance to help a younger generation learn the lessons that
I learned through theatre.
I was volunteering for four hours a day for two weeks, which did not
include the hours that spent researching the show and gathering
information to present to the director. For the show, the students
performed the Disney show Mulan Jr, and I was in charge of makeup for
the production. The week before the show, I spent time at the theater
with the kids showing them how to apply their makeup, and explaining
what each product was and how it was used. When I wasn’t teaching,
I was helping paint the intricate details in the scenery using my
experience creating sets for my high school’s theatre program,
which was one of my favorite parts.
I faced a few challenges with volunteering, which I assume to be common
issues that others must face also. I had to learn that not all of the
children will appreciate the work that you’re doing. But I was
still able to connect with some of the kids and assist them through
the stressful situations of the show process. The other challenge was
the other volunteers; not everyone was serious in their work, and
this was noticed by the kids we were volunteering with. I believe
that you should be respectful to whomever you’re working with, and
this was not acceptable behavior for volunteering or for any other
type of work.
With as much experience as I have with theatre, one would think that I
would pursue it after high school. In actuality, I want to study
mechanical engineering in college and beyond. Engineering has been a
part of my life just as long as theatre, and I love both equally; I
understand how both are important to education and life. Without
being involved in both, I would’ve missed many valuable
opportunities and experiences.
I believe that I made a difference in these children’s lives by
showing that the arts are worth pursuing, even if you like other
aspects of school. Looking forward, I will participate in more
volunteering activities like this. By looking forward, you plan and
envision the future you want. To me, this represents continuing to
help a younger generation understand the arts. I aspire to change the
stigma surrounding the idea that you can’t love science and still
be involved in the arts. By changing this, I hope that more people
will consider how important the option of the arts is.