Name: Kimberly Bui
From: Houston, Texas
School: J. Frank Dobie High School
Volunteerism. A word meaning “the act or practice of doing volunteer work in
community service,” according to the Merriam Webster dictionary.
When I hear the word volunteer, my ears perk up a little higher, my
smile gets a bit wider, and my heart becomes a whole lot warmer.
Throughout my entire life, I had always been told to strive to be
kinder than necessary, not for the hopes of receiving something back,
but solely for the gratifying smiles and happiness that comes along.
When I was just in intermediate school, I had volunteered to be in a
string quartet named “Giving Bach,” where I and a few others
travelled to churches, nursing homes, and elementaries in our spare
time to play melodious music and uplift moods. I felt accomplished
when I saw all of their delighted faces and from then, giving back,
became a lifestyle for me instead of just a little hobby.
Entering high school was a frightful time due to the huge new school with
roughly 4,000 students and about 3 friends, but luckily I had found
an organization named Key Club, in which I now participate as Vice
President, that was dedicated to giving back to our community.
Joining this club was the best decision of my life because not only
did it introduce me to new friendships, but as well as give me an
overwhelming amount of experience and unforgettable memories.
Last year in December, I volunteered at an event named “Wreaths of America,” in which we
would place a wreath on our veterans’ graves to not embellish or
decorate, but instead commemorate their lives. The thankful looks on
veterans families were enough to make my heart swell and ensure that
making others smile was something I wanted to be doing all my life.
From events such as these, to festivals, food banks, marathons, blood
drives, picking up trash at the beach, planting trees, and numerous
other events, they all resulted in helping me grow as a person and
truly learn the value of contributing and aiding my community.
As I got older throughout the years, the workload from school and life
itself began to increase dramatically which served as the biggest
challenge for me. But with some time and many deep breaths, I learned
to time manage and prioritize the things that were important and dear
Volunteerism. It helped me realize that although it’s impossible for me to end
the suffering of others, I still have the ability to try and minimize
it as much as I am capable, leading me to a career pathway in the
medical field in which I would do exactly what I’ve learned to do
all my life. To me, volunteerism is more than just “community
service” but rather the actions of bringing joy into other people’s
lives and cherishing the feelings of fulfillment that come along. It
is my blueprint to happiness.