Youth Forward Scholarship Winter 2016 – Volunteerism Essay

Name: Sarvahna Montano
From: Albuquerque, New Mexico
Grade: 11th
School: Design for Learning Differences Sycamore School
Votes: 0

           Volunteering hasn’t always been such an important thing to me. There was a long time ago when it didn’t mean anything at all. Back then, I was in the Girl Scouts but didn’t even know exactly what that program was trying to imprint into us. Now, I understand. I have since then volunteered at my zoo, aquarium, and botanical garden as a part of one program. I now know that volunteering isn’t something available for kids just to do it and get it over with because their parents made them. It’s supposed to teach you something. The program I was enrolled in over the summer was set hard on saving the Earth,
conservation, and the devastating effects not conserving has done for our planet. I have since then made sure to do my part in my own little way.

I realize that doing so adds up a long way to something more important; maybe even saving the planet. Volunteering is very important in America, and even more important for kids of all ages to do. It is a way for kids to give back to their community. There are all different kinds of opportunities available of all different types. Doing something you love and feeling good that you’re helping somebody makes it amazing. Volunteering is a very important and special thing to me, and it should be a lot more important in this day and age to everybody else, too. When I volunteered at the zoo I worked a good sum of hours for the entirety of summer break which was roughly two months.

My responsibilities were to teach children about the inhabitants of our Earth and the planet itself, all whilst providing important tips on how to conserve and why we need to. I shared this information with children and parents alike, making sure to put the message across. There were lots of games and little prizes for the kids who played the games. My biggest challenge as a volunteer probably was managing the children at some points. My local Biopark (as the entirety of the
zoo/aquarium/botanical garden is called) can tend to get busy so sometimes children would filter through with their day cares or schools and it could get pretty tricky. Luckily, I worked alongside a partner every time and we managed to get the point across to every last child. The thing that gave me the most satisfaction about volunteering was seeing people understand exactly what we are all doing to our Earth, and seeing them become motivated to help stop it in their own little ways with a few of our tips. I believe that I have learned patience, an intense passion for the Earth and conservation, and maybe gained some charisma and social skills. Most of all I learned what volunteering can do for someone; that it can
brighten my life too. I learned that getting up and doing something was the most valuable thing in my life, and that striving constantly for that builds one’s motivation and self confidence to proceed in life.

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