Youth Forward Scholarship Winter 2016 – Helping Others Through Volunteering

Name: Jake Griffin
From: Florence, Kentucky
Grade: 12th
School: Boone County High School
Votes: 0

This year, I made a decision to begin volunteering in my community. This is a decision that I am very glad I made, because it has changed my outlook on life as a young adult. I’ve always enjoyed helping people and serving people, but I never actually volunteered for my community. I chose to volunteer in a local soup kitchen where I served hot food and cold drinks to homeless individuals. I was responsible for serving the food onto to plates and making sure that everyone received what they wanted and that they were fully satisfied. I chose to volunteer in a soup kitchen because I wanted to help people who are less fortunate. Many of us take for granted the opportunities that we have been given, and I think it is very humbling to make an effort to see life from the perspective of one who is less fortunate.

After participating in a local soup kitchen, I went on to volunteer at a few other places. Next, I volunteered at an ALS walk to support research for ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease. There were many people at this event that actually had ALS so it was very humbling once again to see these individuals and how brave they are in their fight against a terrible disease. Secondly, I volunteered at my local library. My responsibility was to help a first grade student who struggles to read. Once a week for the entire summer, I read many books with my new friend and I taught him how to pronounce words better and comprehend words better as well. This was a very good experience because I was able to make an impact on the life of a
child who needs help reading and understanding what he is reading. I was able to read at the age of three, so it was very good to be able to pass my knowledge onto someone who is younger and less experienced. I really enjoyed this event as well.

I participated in a couple other volunteer events in my community as well; all of them were humbling and great experiences. My biggest challenge with volunteering has been patience. Sometimes it is difficult to maintain patience in certain situations, especially with little children. On the contrary, my greatest satisfaction with volunteering in my community is being able to help people who are less fortunate or who need help. By helping these people, I gained a great amount of satisfaction and I have been humbled to view things from the perspective of others.

I volunteer about 40 hours a year, give or take. Through all of this volunteering, the most important thing that I have learned is that not everyone has good opportunities, not everyone has a supportive family. I learned that it is up to me and other people in my community to be willing to help these people, because they matter; these people want to be loved just like everybody else.

Join our Facebook group "Volunteers for a Better World".