As part of the LAS protocol I need to 30 hours of volunteer work. I had many great experiences this year through volunteer avenues. I was elected Food Chair for Up All Night. Up All Night is an free annual event that provides an alternative Friday night to people to enjoy food, games, and more! From late fall to the event in March we would have an one hour long meeting every Sunday and three hours of office hours every week, until the event. Also, I was elected the Pre-Registration Chair for the RPL Job Fair. Here we would have an hour long meeting every Monday from the beginning of the year to the event in February, as well as arranging all registered vendors on my own time. These are just a few of my larger volunteer experiences, but there were many more from spending time at a nursing home, volunteering at a Beef Dinner Fundraiser, Mount Pleasant Park Clean-up, etc.. My favorite volunteer involvement was being a Volleyball coach for 4th and 5th graders though Mount Pleasant Recreation. Every Thursday we would have practice 7:00-8:00 pm and on every Sunday we would have games at 2:00 pm. Their season lasted from September to December.
Being a volleyball coach was very influential not only for the participants, but for myself. I had to learn how to be an effective leader to an age group I was not use to, 4th and 5th graders. Also, I had to learn how to manage them through a sport, including how to keep them focused, what activities were age appropriate, and how to challenge them. It taught me a lot about my leadership and helped me become more well-rounded as a leader. As much as it taught, I used the experience to try to positively impact the players. These children are very easy to influence and I wanted to be a positive role model to them. When they were hard on themselves I gave them positivity and advice that could be relevant in all life situations. I wanted to be a positive role model in their life in case they did not have that at home. It only takes one person to be a role model in someones life and make an impact on them and I wanted to be that person. My favorite memory was when all the players laughed at me when I would say y’all. They all thought it was country and they would mock me in a country accent. Even though they laughed and thought it was funny, I used that experience to introduce them to inclusive language and my efforts to watch what I say so I do not discriminate or offend anyone. I believe that just by introducing it to them will leave an impact on them to maybe adapt a better vocabulary and be open to inclusivity because of me. Being a part of molding these child’s lives is so powerful and inspiring because of the opportunity to shape the leaders of the future.
I am going to continue to apply to be a coach through the Recreation Department. I will also pursue being a role model for the youth because I can see the impact it has made through being a coach. Overall, I have grown a passion for community service and will continue to do so throughout my life. Community service can help in small or big ways to make a difference in the world. I have so much love and service to give to others, and it is not going to stop here.