Youth Forward Scholarship Winter 2018 – Helping those who enjoy libraries

Name: Maria Algarate
From: Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
Grade: 11th, Junior
School: Southeast High School
Votes: 0

Helping
those who enjoy libraries

Throughout
my high school career I have spent my time volunteering at my local
library. Since I have always enjoyed reading and spending time at the
library I then decided that volunteering there would be the perfect
match for me, and it was! This past summer my local library had a
summer reading program in which I volunteered to help with. In total,
I volunteered about 120+ hours for the summer reading program. Aside
from the summer reading program, I had previously volunteered around
100+ hours at the library tutoring young children and helping them
with their homework. I did many things when I helped with the summer
reading program, some of those things were: helping customers sign-up
for the program and document how many hours and which books they had
read, clean-up anywhere around the library, help with programs and
activities that the library had for a particular day, and also I
helped many kids and adults with finding a particular book and even
helped them with technology related problems. One of the biggest
challenge I have had as a volunteer is being able to get more people
to volunteer; I have continuously told and motivated people from
school to volunteer at the library but only a few have done so. Many
things have made me feel satisfied that I chose the library to help
out at but the most satisfying thing I was able to experience was
when I was able to get to know the library staff, volunteers, and
customers pretty well. I have learned many new things while
volunteering at my local library, some of the skills that I have
gotten better at are: effective communication with others, customer
service related skills, and also time management skills.


The
things I am interested in and my career goals, I would say are
aligned with what I volunteer/volunteered in. The reason I believe so
is because I have always been interested in reading so a library is
good for that interest. In regards to my career, I would say that it
was a great fit because I would love to have a career in the criminal
justice field or possibly become a lawyer one day so people skills
are a very important part for my career. I see my activities as
“forward looking” because I am motivating and encouraging others
to read and use libraries effectively. The definition of “forward
looking” to me means that something can help with ones future or
their life. A change that I would love to be fostered into the world
via my volunteer activities is getting more people to read or to even
better their reading skills and also to use libraries more. If I were
to come back in ten, twenty, or even thirty years, I believe that my
volunteer activities have made the difference to people because I
encouraged them to read more and by reading more one gains more
knowledge in some ways.


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