Youth Forward Scholarship Summer 2018 – Lessons learned as a Volunteer

Name: Briana James
From: Aberdeen, MD
Grade: 12th
School: Aberdeen High
Votes: 0

Briana
James

Near the end of my seventh grade year, I decided to help out in my
community. I came up with the idea to begin volunteering at an
elementary school near my school. I would walk to the elementary
school after I finished school, and I would help Ms. Stewart, a
teacher. She asked me to make copies, put together project and help
the children with whatever they may have needed. The main reason that
I decided to volunteer at the time was because I wanted to be a
teacher. After spending a couple of years volunteering, I decided
that I wanted to teach older kids and in my last year, this year,
volunteering, I decided to do something totally different,
International Business. As an aide at Bakerfield, I never had set
times to go. I just went whenever I could. In my earlier years of
volunteering, seventh through ninth grade, I mainly went three or
four times out of the week for an hour. After ninth grade into senior
year, I went once or twice a week for two hours. My biggest
challenges as an aide was answering questions that the children had.
I’ve had sensitive questions to inappropriate questions. It’s
difficult because facial expression tells it all and it seems kids
have a sense when you are lying. Therefore being an aide was hard
because of the interaction with the children, I also wanted to make
sure I met their needs, and I felt that was challenging because I
didn’t get to know them the way I would’ve liked because I only
spent a few hours a week with them. However, despite the challenges,
the most satisfaction that I have gained from being a volunteer is
the gifts. I have received letters, notes and drawings from the
children that have warmed my heart. Also when I was having a bad day,
they always know how to cheer me up without knowing that I was having
a bad day. Being a volunteer at an elementary school has changed my
life forever because I learned that if I want to make a difference, I
must start with the children because they are the future. What I seek
within this volunteer activity is a change and development within the
younger children, I desire that they flourish even better than the
last generation. I aspire that the grow to be more intellectual and
less ignorant to the problems of today. That is also how I view my
volunteering as forward looking, something that will develop and
progress overtime. I am believing that my volunteer at the elementary
school has made an impact because I always tried to uplift the
students as well. My activity will have made a difference because as
the children that I interacted with will grow up and remember the
words I constantly gave them and the love that I shared with them.
This volunteer of five and a half years has forever changed my life.


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