Youth Forward scholarship summer 2016 – My Project Unify Experience

Name: Shemaiah Adams
From: Charlotte , North Carolina
Grade: 11
School: Rocky River High School
Votes: 0

Going into my Junior year of High School, I wanted to get involved and be more
dynamic with activities involving community service. So I later
started to invest into different clubs my school had, and I finally
signed up for this one particular club called “Project Unify”.
You may ask what this club may be about and how does it go into the
category with helping people out. Well Project Unify is an
education and sports based strategy powered by an engaged youth
community that expands athletic and leadership opportunities for
students with and without intellectual disabilities, while creating
communities of acceptance for all. That is our goal we want everyone
participating in this club to feel accepted, loved, and safe. While I
was in school I participated in this group quite often, the days
would vary from Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays, Fridays, and
Saturdays. It all just depends on what everyone’s schedule looked
like during the upcoming week. We spent about 5-6 hours each day
doing different activities with the children.

As a volunteer my responsibilities were to keep the children safe, look
after them, help them with the different games that we would be
working on that day, make sure they were having fun, get to know
them, etc. It was very exciting working with the Special kids because
they were all so joyful and just happy to be around me. The feeling
was great because I got to know every student, they all had very
different personalities, which made my experience even more pleasant.
I would always love to help them out when they needed a favor or to
show them how to do something the correct way. Like something just as
simple as throwing a football or bouncing a basketball. It just
amazed me so much of how much they looked up to me the feeling is

My biggest challenge with joining this group as a volunteer was learning
how to be patient with others. Before being in this group I wasn’t
all that patient but over the few months of working with these
students it helped me a lot. To just really slow down, practice
listening and manage my emotions. Now all that didn’t take much
time, which I was extremely surprised about.

The most satisfaction I got from doing this program was being someone
that another person actually looked up to. That feeling is one of the
best feelings in the world. To just know that you could walk into
that classroom and all of the students would just turn their heads
look at you with the biggest smile and just scream your name, then
run up to you and give you the biggest hug. I will always and forever
remember each face that I met in this program. They weren’t just a
face or person to remember, they became my friends someone I could
talk to and help endlessly.

Becoming a volunteer in this program not only changed the person I am today but
it also has a very huge impact on the person I will be in twenty to
thirty years from now. I feel this way because I have a different
outlook on the world now. Everyone deserves to be treated equally.
It’s not fair to be treated differently based off of how you look
or act. We are all human beings and are entitled to be treated as
one. As the years go by and as I grow older, I will ALWAYS remain the
same and keep in mind that ALL lives matter.

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