Youth Forward Scholarship Winter 2018 – Youth Leadership and Youth Development

Name: Xaria Williams
From: Desoto, Texas
Grade: Sophomore
School: DeSoto High School
Votes: 0

The area in which I chose to volunteer can be considered Youth
Development and Leadership. There are multiple reasons I considered
this particle type of volunteering; I am considered youth, I wanted
to work with peers my age and younger, I wanted to motivate younger
children the way no one ever did for me, I was encouraged by my
community to partake in these activities, the types of exercises and
activities were things I could see the benefit in, and the different
jobs and activities I’ve had to do are fun to explain to my
teachers when I am asked about my volunteering. The hours and days in
total are scattered because the volunteering is happening throughout
my college career. I have many responsibilities, and they vary in
degree of difficulty depending on the day and the job. I have been
charge of distributing food, supplies, books, and information. I have
been in charge of stack, packing, unloading, carrying, and movement
of supplies for specific events. I have been in charge of motivating
and creating enthusiasm in games, activities, and anything else
planned for an event. I have been an assistant to teaching, often
reading and math and sometimes dance. I have helped closely with
teacher in preparing a class, in grading, in coming up with new
teaching methods. I have even been in charge of getting out the word
for different events to my peers and others in the community.

The biggest challenge and obstacle for me in volunteering has been the
active participation in interaction with other people. I am a proud
ambivert who knows how to communicate well, but I tend to wear on
patience if I am constantly around people without the ability to
recharge in solitude. Volunteer is about helping other people, and in
that, you are expected to interact with strangers on a norm. The most
satisfying part of volunteering for me is a contradiction to my
greatest obstacle; I love meeting new people who share similar
interests with me. Although these days are usually mentally and
physically draining, I have seen a pattern of positivity in the fact
that I am usually surrounding by like minded individuals who want to
genuinely spend their time creating a safe, fun, and educational
environment for the youth of their community. I have learned how to
place my best foot forward even when I am uncomfortable, how to
interact with people of all ages, how to demand and retain respect,
and lastly, how to enjoy being in a social environment without
believing someone doesn’t want me there.

Volunteering for the Youth Development and Leadership programs in my community has
connected to some of my individual interests and my future career
goals. I am someone who loves observing in her free time, and being
in a social environment that is set on making sure “youth” feel
comfortable requires a lot of time and tentative attention to details
and social cues. I want to be a social-personality psychologist, and
I believe watching, analyzing, interacting with, and understanding
the individual children, teens, and adults I meet is an essential
skill I will need in my desired career.

Forward looking” means seeing the bigger picture. Yes, the little details
you are constantly experiencing are important. It’s the big
picture, though, the end result, that truly defines whether what you
have put your time and effort into has been beneficial to you and
others. I want to encourage people younger than me and my age to be
an active part of the community. You never know what your story or
your experience or your words of encouragement could mean to someone
else. I want to give to another child what I didn’t have growing
up, a role model who could inspire me to do something my life. I want
to help children understand that they have a purpose in this world,
even if each of his or her individual talents and skills isn’t
apparent yet. I want the lesson to stick; “Positive Attitude
Changes Everything, so you really can do anything you put your mind
to because life is without a doubt Mind Over Matter.” I don’t
believe my one amount of action will make the difference I hope to
see. I believe, though, if every person my age was aware and active,
the desired result wouldn’t need years to take effect. A community
is more than one person. Volunteering is not a sole person’s
responsibility. We make the world what we choose to.

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