Name: Kathryn Grammatica
From: Largo, Florida
School: Largo High School
I have chosen to volunteer with animals. I chose this topic because
there are countless numbers of homeless and deprived animals. There
is an abundance of animals breaded and developed for human enjoyment
or use. If humans did not interfere with the number of animals, there
would not be so many that are deprived and alone. I believe giving
these homeless and “unwanted” animals love and care is the least
I can do as a human to give back to creatures that were born into an
I have volunteered 104 hours over the span of two years with a local
animal shelter in order to better improve their life. I volunteered 6
hours per week in summer of 2017 and 2018. As a volunteer I cared for
and cleaned the animals. I managed the laundry build up, as well as
cleaned the dishes. Most of my time as a volunteer was spent outside
with the dogs as I let each one out into the yard to run around, go
to the bathroom, and play.
The biggest challenge for me was to not allow the sadness of the matter
to influence my mood. Seeing the homeless animals in small cages,
looking at you with sad, longing eyes, can take a toll on your mood.
It is important however, to remain positive because animals are very
smart and can sense even the smallest difference in mood. Since they
are always sad, it is your responsibility as a volunteer to ensure
that you provide them the happiest experience you can.
Volunteering at an animal shelter is a very rewarding experience. Seeing the
difference that you personally make with the animals gives me the
most satisfaction. Knowing that without your presence, the dogs would
not have any interaction or outdoor time, makes you feel valuable and
your time worthwhile.
I have learned that there are so many underprivileged animals that you
may not have otherwise thought about. Time is just as important as
money. People volunteering their time is more effective for animal
shelters than money. No one is too young to make a difference in
their community. Volunteering does not seem like work if you find
your passions. That way, volunteering becomes enjoyable.
Although I enjoy helping animals, it does not align with my career goals.
However, I will always remain a strong advocate for improved
conditions among neglected animals. I see my volunteering as forward
looking because of the health benefits gained from it. Being around
animals lowers stress levels and improves blood pressure.
Volunteering is forward looking because of the time management skills
learned during your service. Forward looking means thinking about the
future and doing things now to improve tomorrow. I hope that my
volunteering activities will help homeless animals find forever
homes. If I were to come back in the future, I believe that my
volunteer activities would have made a difference because of all the
innocent animals that I helped live a healthy and fulfilled life.