Name: Stephanie Perez
From: Greenville, SOUTH CAROLINA
Grade: college senior
School: Bob Jones University
Volunteering is very important to me. I like to help people. I want to help people. My major is people. I’m a biblical counseling major and at my university I have the privilege of being able to do one of my favorite things. It may
sound strange but I really like to volunteer at a detention center.
At the university I got once a week for few hours. It normal is a
Saturday or Sunday. In the detention center, we teach the juveniles
about God and life skills. Every week we have a new topic. My
responsibly vary from helping the presenter to talking with the
juveniles or helping to plan a game. Everything we do there is very
important because it is our hope to give the juvenile hope. We want
them to believe there is life outside of the jail.
My biggest challenge has been bonding with the juvenile. It is not easy to gain trust or honest from people who don’t trust in anyone. Some kids are rude. Some
kids are kinder than one would think. Some kids are just not interested. But once your make that bond it’s worth it. Normally, the best way to form that bond is to be honest. It is important talk to them like adults and not lie to them. Listening is the key.
The best part has been when the kids finally open up and are ready to talk. One discovers many personalities in a detention center. Some kids are funny and very
smart. Some are need a little more time to share. It’s so
interesting to see what these kids are interested in. One often
forgets that they are criminals. They aren’t in there for mere acts
of rebellion. Once they give you their trust that is when you can
really start to make a difference and show them that you care about
them. That you only want to help them. We don’t get a lot of time
because they leave just as fast as they come.
I have learned so much from volunteering at a detention center. One, that I really love helping those who need it. Often kids in these places have really bad
relationships with others. It’s great knowing we can build one with
the kids that is pure. A pure intent to help. Second, I gain some
real knowledge about a world that is different than mine. Despite
anything I have gone through, my story is different from theirs.
Learning about their lives gives me an insight into who they are and
why they are in the jail. Three, I learn how to care for those who
are weak and confused, and those who are hurt and in pain. For this
experience I am truly thankful.
In the future, I have hopes to continue in this field. I don’t know if
it will be at a detention center or orphanage or school. I just know
there is a great need to help the youth of America. There is a great
need for people to reach out and help those who can’t help