Youth Forward scholarship summer 2016 – Volunteering: A Look into the Struggles and Success of Students

Name: Devon Madden
From: Palm Bay, Florida
Grade: 11
School: Bayside High
Votes: 0


A Look into the Struggles and Success of Students

Devon Madden

Today people are finding a greater importance to give back to the community
by offering their service. Similar to many of these volunteers, I
have helped my local town at elementary and middle schools. From my
dedication to volunteering 35 hours a year; I’ve gained new
outlooks, shared my knowledge, and influenced others.

I’ve showed students how to code, improve their science experiment, and
design their engineering product. I’ve helped raise money for
foundations at my high school and for past clubs I’ve been involved
in, such as the Technology Student Association. My involvement has
revealed that interest is beginning to be lost. Interest in learning
physics, creating a new invention, or helping someone in need. With
the development of technologic devices, students don’t have to do
some of the simplest tastes nor the want to do them either. I noticed
a trend at the science fair, fourth graders put a lot of time and
consideration into their project than did older students. I know
because when I was in sixth grade, I did an experiment to see which
paper towel held the most water before falling apart. This
demonstrates from my experience that a growing number of students are
losing the drive to expand their education past the classroom.

However, several interesting science and engineering experiments were done
above a high school student’s understanding. Once, a student
created his own submarine and checked to see how the density of the
liquid inside the sub would affect the buoyancy level. Another time,
a girl did a project on the pH levels in drinking water; her
presentation was engaging and knowledgeable on the subject matter. In
these cases, there isn’t much to offer to the student for advice.
This past year I was involved with my school mentoring program and
was asked to provide assistance to incoming Freshmen. Out of the four
mentees, I had only one of them show interest. If he struggled with
math, he would contact me for assistance with his Geometry homework.
We would work through the problem until we understood how to solve
it. If I wasn’t able to meet him, I would send him sources that
would help with the course.

Volunteering is an eye opener. As a judge for the science fair, a teacher for the
Hour of Code, or a mentor for a student in need; I’ve been able to
see the struggle and success students have. When a student discovers
the mistake they made to improve upon it, makes me believe that I
helped encourage the growth of a student. I could have altered the
path a student may take to become an engineer instead of an artist.
That’s how it was for me, I had a teacher who was amazing at
teaching technology; from then on I wanted to become a mechanical and
aerospace engineer. Sometimes the smallest influences can make the
greatest changes for the wellbeing of someone’s future and that is
what I hope I accomplished with my volunteering.

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