Recently, I took a trip to Sprindale, Arkansas in the Northwest region of the state to speak to students at the School of Innovation about volunteerism. This school offers unique learning opportunities to eighth and ninth graders. SOI has such an incredible concept, by allowing students to pursue subjects suitable to what they want to do in life. The students are so encouraging to each other. They welcomed me so wonderfully that it helped calm my nerves about speaking to teenagers close to my age.
I spoke about why a teenager should be a volunteer, how to make volunteering fun, and how and why I became a volunteer. I explained that a teenager should be a volunteer because helping others can sometimes have an impact so strong that it effects the way you live the rest of your life. It gives us something to look forward to, to stay focused, to be humble, and to be grateful for what we do have. Volunteering can be fun by getting a group of friends together to have a clean-up day or using what you are interested in to raise funds for an organization. If you are passionate about sports, theater, running, hiking, etc. use the joy and happiness you develop from that activity to radiate that same feeling into a life of someone in need. I became a volunteer because I grew up being involved in my community. Now that I am old enough to understand how much passion and growth can come from helping others, I have fallen in love with volunteerism.
After I was finished speaking, I opened the floor for questions. The students asked me all kinds of fun questions about myself, such as my height, age, and relationship status. Then some students thought deeper by asking me what I have gotten out of this experience and what I hope to gain. So far this experience has given me so many more outlets to get involved in organizations than I could have ever imagined. I have become a better studier, harder worker, and a more reliable teenager. As for what I hope to gain, I am coasting along seeing where this year takes me and so far I have already conquered the busiest airport in the United States by myself... who knows what lies around the corner? At the end of the speech I was excited to sign autographs for all of the students. I absolutely loved seeing the faces of so many young prodigies that still have so far to go before reaching their full potential. I can not wait to see who they will become.
“Nothing is impossible, the word itself says 'I'm possible.” - Audrey Hepburn