Youth Forward Scholarship Winter 2018 – Learning to Love

Name: Rylee Smith
From: Wakefield, Rhode Island
Grade: senior (12 grade)
School: South Kingstown High School
Votes: 0


Learning
to Love

When
I was 16 years old, a sophmore in highschool, I faced the hardest
challenge in my life. I was diagnosed with a Depression disorder, and
my life took a turn for the worst. I was dropping grades in school
and I was not leaving the house.

Volunteering
at the animal shelter was my weekly outing. I volunteered at South
Kingstown Animal Rescue League, and my job was to walk the dogs.
Every week I got to meet a new dog, but it was sad, I didn’t
understand why anybody would give up an animal. When I walked the
dogs, I would have thinking sessions in my head where I would
overanalyze everything. Sometimes I even spoke out loud. I knew the
dogs couldn’t literally understand me, but I know that they could
sense my emotions. Talking to the dogs was like a free therapy
session, not only for me, but for the them too. They also expressed
their emotions. They would bark, run, cry, and even give kisses. This
is when I realized how much I truly loved animals, and I decided I
wanted to be a veterinarian. Now I have applied to school planning to
major in Biology and minor in pre vet in hopes of getting into vet
school in 4 years.

Volunteering
at the animal shelter taught me that even when life gets bad, you
just have to find that one thing that brightens your day, everyday,
and stick to it. I was the dogs ray of sunshine because I was getting
them out of the shelter. They were my ray of sunshine because they
were getting myself out of my head.


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