Youth Forward Scholarship Winter 2016 – Generation of Instant Gratification

Name: Kieran Bowyer
From: Lynchburg, VA
Grade: 11
School: Heritage High School
Votes: 0

Generation of Instant Gratification

It is a sad sight to see every day, the lack of social interaction among people in a room because a bright LED screen controls the motives of their lives. I can’t stand sitting at home and staring at these mindless death traps. Instead, I participate in many activities such as swimming and baseball and also playing trumpet for all forms of band at my school. When I finally had the chance to have an “offseason” I decided to not let it be a waste of my time. Volunteering was something I wanted, needed, and managed to do. The only problem was that I didn’t know which route to take in my volunteering process.
An idea was expressed to me when I was visiting one of my friend’s grandfathers who happened to be living in assisted living. I realized that I wanted to spend my time aiding the elderly, those who need help getting out and seeing the world.

The very first time I aided was with my friend’s grandfather again and it gave me one of the most exhilarating feelings I had ever felt. I not only felt happy that I was helpful, but it also gave me a feeling of satisfaction. It didn’t stop with just helping one person, it later led to helping many people, people that I had never even seen before, but to them it didn’t matter. They were happy to see a young person who was interested in life before all of the technology that we have today. As a volunteer I was there to give company and give support to those who seemed as if they needed it, and it was an experience I will forever cherish. I heard several stories, that if I had spent that day playing video games or texting on my phone, I would have
never gotten the chance to hear.

My generation is known as the generation of instant gratification, I decided that I wanted to change this. I took action. I wanted to get people my age, the ones I thought were most absorbed into the unreality of their phones, and I wanted them personally to come volunteer with me to see and hear the amazing world before the exponential growth of technology. This would prove to be the biggest challenge as a volunteer. I spent several hours trying to locate people that were willing and had free-time to aid with my volunteering, and eventually I found a larger group of people who met my qualifications. It was a group of 5 people which doesn’t seem like much, but to the elderly people who benefitted from this, it was the world. They got to tell their stories and receive some well-deserved attention, while the younger generation learned things that were surprisingly interesting to them. This instance definitely gave me the most satisfaction from volunteering: the idea that I
helped connect this gap between generations and they both benefitted.

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