Youth Forward Scholarship Winter 2018 – Helping Animals, Transforming Lives

Name: Addison Huning
From: Sabetha, Kansas
Grade: 12
School: Sabetha High School
Votes: 0

  • What
    is the area in which you have chosen to volunteer (e.g.,
    homelessness, anti-drunk driving, youth art programs, etc.).? Why
    did you choose it?

  • How
    many hours per year / week / month have you volunteered?

  • What
    are / were your responsibilities as a volunteer?

  • What
    has been your biggest challenge as a volunteer?

  • What
    has giving you the most satisfaction as a volunteer?

  • What
    have you learned from your volunteer position?

How are
your interests and career goals in alignment with that volunteer
focus, or perhaps not?

  • Looking
    towards the future, how do you see your activities as “forward
    looking?” What does “forward looking” mean to you?

  • What
    change do you seek to foster in the world via your volunteer
    activities?

  • If
    you were to come back in ten, twenty, or even thirty, years do you
    think your volunteer activities would have “made a difference?”
    How so?

My
choice of volunteering is the Brown County Humane Society in Kansas
because of my love for animals and the others that volunteer there.
Just the feeling of being able to take the dogs out of their kennels
and take them for a walk after they have been sitting in a lonely,
concrete, and noiseless kennel for about 6 hours is amazing. I
started volunteering in March of my sophomore year in 2016 and I try
to be out at the shelter at least 5 hours a week.

Some
of the duties that I do while volunteering out there is cleaning
kennels, walking dogs, playing with the animals, building up the
animal’s trust, and helping potential adopters. In March of this
year I was bit by one of the dogs that I was transferring to a
kennel. The pitbull, Darcy was new at the shelter and she attacked
another dog through a kennel door because the latch was broken. I’ve
always been taught at the shelter that when dogs are fighting that
you need to break up the fight as soon as possible so that it will
prevent injury to both dogs. I did this and immediately tried pulling
Darcy away from Polka, the other dog and she whipped around, thinking
I was Polka and bit my leg. I had been before so I brushed it off as
no big deal but it was. I continued with my duties there but after
awhile, I knew there was something very wrong with my leg. I ended up
going to the hospital that night and had to get four stitches. This
led to a very deep fear of dogs for awhile until I went back to the
shelter to volunteer about a month later and was able to sit with a
great dane, Zena for hours on end and gain her trust after she had
been abused. After, I realized I was being silly and it is just how a
dog is raised and not every dog will bite and I went back to
volunteering.

The
thing that has given me the most satisfaction in volunteering is
seeing the updates from adopters about how their animal is doing
after they have left the shelter. I have learned so much from being
able to volunteer and continuing to go has taught me ways of basic
pet care I can do for my animals at home and how and when to stand up
for animal rights. My activities are forward looking because I’m
choosing to help the dogs of today and tomorrow be their best selves.
The change that I wish to see is the animals I have loved and helped
be the best pets they can be and also lead happy, healthy lives. If I
were to come back after many years I would know that I made an impact
because of all the fundraising, animals, and peoples lives I’ve
touched and because the shelter would still be there taking care of
animals.


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