Impacting beyond myself

Name: Brianna Long
From: Pensacola, FL
Votes: 0

In 9th grade I heard about a teen leadership institute in my town called
Chain Reaction that would later change my life. I chose to volunteer
through Chain Reaction in a service project called Prisedemic, where
we created dog toys out of recycled t-shirts and donated them to our
local humane society. I chose this project because giving animals in
shelters toys can boost their self esteem and keep them from becoming
depressed. Animals who are depressed are less likely to get adopted
and ever since I was a child I always have had a strong love for
animals and have always wanted to help them and make them happy. I
have been volunteering for this project every week for 2 and a half
hours for the last 4 years and eventually even interned for the
project. My role as an intern was to supervise the project, set goals
of how many toys we would make, wrote the project description for
future interns, and lead the others in our group. The biggest
challenge I faced was making sure the toys were good enough quality
to give to the shelter. Other people in our organization didn’t
care and goofed around. The dog toys we make have to be braided as
tightly as possible so that the dogs won’t get their teeth stuck
and get hurt, but many people didn’t care and didn’t braid tight
enough, wasting materials and time. The most satisfying thing about
volunteering for Prisedemic was whenever I delivered the toys to the
shelter and got to see how happy the dogs were to have new toys. I
have learned from this experience that doing something for someone
else even just once a week can add up and impact beyond just
yourself. This project align with my career path because while I
didn’t go into this project thinking about the recycling aspect, I
have recently become obsessed with the environment and plan to become
an environmental lawyer As an environmental lawyer I will do more
than just recycling, I plan to spread awareness about how badly the
oceans are polluted with trash, and get people in my town to start
caring about recycling and not using as much plastic. My volunteerism
has made a difference because I helped build the foundation of the
project and I believe it will help the people who do the project
after I graduate run it smoothly and I have made so many animals
happy by creating toys for them.