Youth Forward Scholarship Winter 2016 – Naval aid, helping those that help protect us

Name: Robert Saavedra
From: Murrieta, California
Grade: 12
School: Vista Murrieta
Votes: 62

Volunteering, this concept for a while was rather difficult for me. Not because I did not want to help out anywhere, but simply because I had no clue where I should help out. There were so many options for me of course, I could have gone with helping out at a hospital, which would be leaning towards my preferred future profession of being a doctor, I could of helped out at the local shelter and be with animals which I love. I could Have helped in a homeless shelter, the opportunities were endless, yet none of those options really seemed to jump out at me. Then one day it hit me, my father is in the navy, and he is often saying how sometimes help is needed in the ship, not so much maintenance, as that takes actual schooling to do, but aesthetics. Sometimes the Ship would be dirtier than what was needed and in those times, spare hands were hard to come by as everyone was busy. Just like that I decided I would help not only my father, but the many men and women that helped keep our nation safe. There on the ship my tasks were simple yet appreciated. I was to clean and aid in any way that I could without needing special training. The biggest challenge of helping out on the ship was time. I have a very busy schedule as I am a full time student taking advanced classes, but I am also an athlete on a club that practices every week day. However, through all difficulty in finding the free time to help, I did manage to gain the satisfaction of knowing that, even though in respect to what they do, I did very little, I still felt appreciated and I also managed to help tidy up a clustered work space which in turn helps the productivity flow. And along with that satisfaction, I also gained work knowledge. While I did not do what the Naval workers were doing, I did see what they were doing and with that I managed to gain new information that was previously closed off to me. I learned what it felt like to be in a work environment, I learned what the stress felt like, how tough the conditions were, how cramped the ship can get. I gained so much experience and yet all I did was offer my time and help cleaning. That experience was really all I wanted to gain in return for helping my father and his fellow ship mates. That work environment will help prepare me for what I want to do with my own career, which actually has nothing to do with the navy at all. I want to become an Anesthesiologist without having to go through the military to do it.

In regards to looking forward, I feel as though this activity is looking forward in that it helped me gain an altruistic boost in my thought process.

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