Monday, December 21, 2015

Service Project: I chose to volunteer with the teens because I was once a teen and know what it's like to be faced with adversity.

(Student essay Fall 2015)
                       The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others. -Mahatma Gandhi. What is serving? Serving is an act of selflessness. It's giving up something you're doing or want to do, to help or do something for someone. Serving others is something I have enjoyed doing since I was a little girl. I have a heart for giving back and serving others so this project was not a difficult task for me at all.
             For my service project I volunteered with the youth at **** Church. On Sundays they have a youth night open to all the kids in the community. Most of the kids are middle and high schoolers who live near the church. Some of the youth come from broken homes, foster homes or single parent homes. The church helps give the youth something to do on the weekends and help keep them out of trouble. When teenagers are bored and don't have anything to do is when they're more likely to get into trouble.
        When I first arrived I helped serve the teens pizza which they really enjoyed. After serving the pizza I grabbed a slice for myself and walked around introducing myself to some of the youth. I talked with some of the girls and got to know them a little bit. I really enjoy that because I was able to be open with them and tell them a little bit about myself. While the kids who came late got their food I went outside and mingled with the teens on the basketball court. It was fun hooping and playing with them. However it was not long before everyone was called inside to start the games and activities.
          First we played a game where everyone had to interlock arms and see which group can break apart the quickest without releasing the partners hand. It was a little difficult at first but after several attempts my group got the hang of it. This was a team building exercise and helped the teens learn how to work together. We played three times and than everyone became worn out. Next, the teens played doge ball and basketball. However, it wasn't long before it got dark and everyone went back inside the building. I also, helped serve chips and Gatorade to the teens once they came back in.
        In addition to playing outside the teens were given a jam session. Some of the teens who sing or play instruments performed their routine for everyone. It was nice to see them display their musical talents.  After the jam session a motivational speaker came and talked with the teenagers. He encouraged them to continue to reach for the sky and pursue their dreams. He told them a story of his child hood and everything he went through growing up. This really touched a lot of the current middle & high school students. Most of their stories were similar to the speakers. After talking with the teens he prayed for them and dismissed them.  Once all of the teenagers went home the remaining mentors helped clean up the building and than we were dismissed to go home.
           I chose to volunteer with the teens because I was once a teen and know what it's like to be faced with adversity. My parents worked all the time and I wanted to involved in activities. I placed in the "Boy & Girls". I enjoyed this because I was able to be around other kids my age and really just be a kid. This helped shape my future career. I am currently majoring in social work and I want to be a school social worker.  I believe this will help shape the futures of those teens. They will know that someone cared enough about them to spend two Sunday evenings with them.