Sunday, December 11, 2016

Janessa's Report

     As you grow older, you will discover that you have two hands, one for helping yourself, the other for helping others.- Audrey Hepburn. Throughout my experience on helping others I have had the opportunity to also learn. I never see community service for what it is but for the meaning behind it. As a student athlete, I go through many chances to preform service projects. Whether it is to help one person or many people I feel like I make a difference every time. If I can help others with in that process I am not only doing well for them, but for myself.
     From day one I have also had the want to help others. As a child my mother has always helped others. She was involved in many events to help those with illnesses. This has put her in the position she is as a nurse now.  She taught me that helping others is much bigger than me. The smallest help to me could be a huge impact on someone's life. Not everyone has the same opportunity as I do. Especially me being able to play on a collegiate level, only a few are chosen.
       Most of my service is for the children because they are the future. When I was younger I always looked up to the older athletes. Not only did I focus on what they did when they performed but what they did as people. I wanted to be just like them and do the same things they did. Children want to grow up knowing they got the experience to learn the game they love. Also, others may not have the same blessing as everyone else to play a sport at all. So, giving these children the chance to learn from someone like me could change their life.
       For my service project I participated in HoopsU, NightOwl and also the Junior Special Olympic for basketball. All of this had the same goal for me, but my main service was HoopsU basketball. Sometimes when you get caught up in sports you forget it's about having fun. I worked with different age groups of children and they all taught me something different. The quote by Audrey Hepburn to me means that when you are helping others, you are also helping yourself. The children reminded me that remember why you do what you do. This is also a blessing for me to do what I love for free.
       I did this project not because it was obligated, but by choice to help a young life. We live in a world where I feel as there are people who were not mediated at a young age. If I can change young lives it could impact them in a way no one could have guessed. Listening to speakers at these events also teach me that it’s bigger than you and basketball, it is life. I fell in love with my craft from what it was and learned it was a lifestyle. When others here that this is a service they just think, “Basketball camp”, but it's also opportunity for children who need it.
       Participating in this service project has helped many children with growing in their craft. This can keep many children off of the streets as adults because of what they learned. I have heard parents tell me that their child looks up to me and that motivates me the most. Hearing stories of those who may not ever have the chance to play a sport, drives me to serve even more. I have met a wide range of kids all with different stories. I grew up with two parents who both grew up in different lights. My mother grew up in a wealthy home, my father unfortunately did not. I have got a taste of what it feels like to have and not have like everyone else.
       Furthermore, I didn't have the chance to be apart of a project like this. I would have loved for someone older than me to teach me the things they know. This is what drives me to help others. This project has taught me to always hold your hand out to help other because you never know what it can do for you as well. It taught me to have patience, open my mind and put my feet in their shoes too. Once I learned this, it gave me a different look on in life. I sometimes forget on why I play basketball. This is not only for me but my family and all the young ones that won't be able to do this.
     Moreover, this has helped the community in various ways. Basketball is not a choice, but a privilege. Letting the children know that staying in school is very important has helped them in the classroom. Most of all our HoopsU athletes have a GPA of a 3.0 or higher. This can keep them off the streets when they are older and this makes the community safer at the end of the day. To me nothing goes around faster than words. The community can see what I'm doing for others makes more people want to get involved. With all of the children that I have taught, many of them will have the opportunity of a life time. Being able to say I was apart of that is all a student athlete wants in life.

       All in all, this project is all happening during my last year of junior college. It taught me not to take life for granted. Everything can be taken away from me in the blink of an eye. Also, not every person is born with the same opportunity as me physically. Through out writing this paper I realized how fast life is going for me and to help as many lives as I can. I just being one person does not stop me from feeling like I can be the difference for a child.  I want to be able to take my last breath knowing I have changed not one life l, but many lives.