Youth Forward Scholarship Winter 2016 – The power of kindness

Name: Cienna-paige Alexandria Slattery
From: Frankfort, Kentucky
Grade: Sophomore
School: Franklin County High School
Votes: 0

Life without enjoyment is bland and meaningless. Individuals would be
nothing more than sitting objects waiting until the day they die so
their empty lives could end. Enjoyment adds color and passion to
life. This is why I believe recreation is such an important area to
volunteer in. One of my favorite age groups to work with is children.
Building a joyful, caring world for the next generation is important
because they will be the next progressivists, doctors, and lawmakers.
The entire future of the United States rests in their hands, thus
they must be taught strong values, compassion, and generosity. I also
volunteer with the elderly and mentally handicapped. I have helped
host two dances in this area. These social gatherings inspire a
positive and uplifting feeling, which should never be forgotten.

I have volunteered for a total of 26 hours in recreation for the last
3 years, or 37 including other areas. The other areas I volunteer in
are homelessness, fundraising, and event clean-ups. At recreation
events, I either supervise the participants or I provide a service to
them. For example, at the YMCA Christmas Ball I learned to appreciate
the gifts that the mentally handicapped possess. This event is a
dance for mentally handicapped adults. At this dance, I first greeted
individuals and led them into the ballroom until a man insisted that
I stay with him. I learned of his astounding functionality despite
his disabilities through my time with him. We also shared many
similar personality traits. This change in perspective made me more
admiring towards the disabled and drastically improved my
understanding of them. At Santa’s helpers, I had the opportunity to
work with children. During this event, children lined up with a list
of people they wished to shop for. Each of Santa’s helpers were
assigned a kid to take into the event’s store and shop with. I
leaned of the kind, giving nature within every child through this
event and the value of a positive role-model to bring that trait out
and encourage it.

My favorite part of volunteering is witnessing the diversity of
personalities. Every person possesses a different quality to change
the world with. Ironically, understanding how to socialize with each
is my biggest challenge. Gradually, I have overcome this obstacle and
while it still exists, I am able to understand differences better.
Developing this understanding is extremely important because in my
career goal, a psychiatric nurse practitioner, I will be required to
connect to a myriad of individuals who each have a distinctive
personalities and suffer from a different condition. I now appreciate
the various qualities due to my volunteer work. I believe this
influence I have had on numerous individuals, specifically children,
will ultimately produce a more generous and caring generation.

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