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Youth Forward Scholarship Winter 2018 – Learning For the Future

Name: Nana Yaa M. Awere
From: Lawrenceville, GA
Grade: 11
School: Archer High School
Votes: 0

Learning
for the Future

The
area I’ve chosen to volunteer in is education because I believe
it’s a major deciding factor in how individuals turn out later in
life.

Currently,
I volunteer an average of five hours a week because one of my classes
is at an elementary school where I help a kindergarten teacher with
her students. Those hours increase when I tutor or help classmates
with assignments.

My responsibilities as a volunteer range
from helping kindergarteners read and identify sight words, to
tutoring peers in language arts and math. Additionally, I help
friends who are falling behind in classes.

The
biggest challenge I face when volunteering is feeling like I’m not
doing enough. I’m concerned with whether the people I help get
anything out of me being there, but I’ve come to understand that a
volunteer’s efforts are always appreciated regardless of the outcome.


The most
satisfaction I get from volunteering is when progress is made. I’m
happy when my kindergarteners identify more words while they read and
my classmates’ grades improve. Whether the progress is big or
small, it’s progress, and it’s nice knowing that I helped someone
understand something better today than they did yesterday.

Through
volunteering, I’ve learned my love for helping people understand
school and their own potential. People aren’t separated into such
simple categories as “smart” vs. “dumb” as some may think;
rather, “perseverant” vs. “inefficient learning methods” are
a more accurate way to describe things. A single class period isn’t
always enough for an entire concept to be understood, so help outside
the classroom truly makes a difference.

As
a child, teaching was my dream because I’d get frustrated with some
of my teachers and think: “If I were a teacher, I’d do this
differently”. As I’ve matured, my career goals have shifted from
teaching to social work and law. Social work because I want to
continue helping people, and law because I want to help clients
through the eyes of a social worker: a person who understands people.
This change in my ambitions doesn’t mean I’ve completely
abandoned teaching; I’d like to think that when I’m old and
burned out from being a lawyer, I’ll find myself as a school
counselor providing social and academic resources to children, hence
why what I’m doing is forward-looking.

To
me, forward-looking means: “How relevant will what you’re
currently doing be in the future?” I feel my activities fit that
definition in that they’re relevant. Learning never ends and it’s
the driving force for the future. Age isn’t a limit to new
knowledge, which is why instilling that appreciation for learning in
an individual is important.

The
change I seek to foster in the world with volunteering is for people
to love learning and gain a greater understanding of their individual
potential. I hope my volunteer activities make a difference in later
years by reminding people that they must seek the help they need and
persevere.

Learning
can be difficult, but volunteers in education make it worthwhile.


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