When people hear how many hours of community service I have done, they ask, "Do you get paid?" When I say no, they wonder why I do it. I tell them it's because I like to help people.
Many think that community service is just something you are forced to do for school. To me, community service
is a way of giving back. I like making people feel as though they matter, and it gives me a warm feeling at the end of the day because I feel I have made a difference. I grow as a person each time I do community service.
Some people do community service because they have to, but I do it because I want to. I have volunteered over 300 hours of community service at a local elementary. I helped children complete their homework assignments
and spend quality time with them while their parents work late. I read to the children and played with them when their parents do not have the time.
For the past three years, I have assisted the adult volunteers
at the After School Care program at Parkview Elementary. My main supervisor was Mrs. King. This program is one in which, parents can leave their children supervised by adults while they work late. I was assigned a group of 10 children, between the ages of 5-11. I volunteered two hours every weekday, tutoring and mentoring my group.
The first week was a little awkward. I did not know any of the kids or what to talk to them about. Mrs. King asked me to help them tie their shoes. So, one by one, they came into the hallway and I helped them with their shoes. This gave me the opportunity to talk to them just one-on-one and see what they were like. It was great! They were very friendly and talkative.
Since I began in November 2000, I have been going every weekday until my mission was accomplished in December 2001. I have worked with them on completing their homework, reading books, and many different things. It has been a great experience for me. Every time I see my students, they always say hi and I receive many hugs. They make me feel extremely important just being with them. I am a significant role model and a great influence for these growing children.
I love helping out students and teachers. I wish everyone had the chance to do a project like this and see how much fun it is. You are not only helping others, but in a way it helps you by making you feel special and important to someone.
Completing a community service project is required for graduation at my high school and in Miami-Dade County. Once I found a project, I stuck firm with my plans and was determined to help the children. In concern to the time used, I did not spend a lot of time deciding what I wanted to do because my little sister was in the aftercare program also. They needed assistance, so I helped them. In total, I shared 310 hours of my time with the Aftercare Program and its many participants.
I am surprised that at the end of each Friday, I go home feeling as if I take more than I contribute. I highly recommend any type of community service to anyone who is willing. It is fulfilling and leaves me feeling better as a person. These children provide me with a sense of belonging and self-worth. Community service has had a strong impact on my life. I hope to continue mentoring not just throughout high school, but for the rest of my life.