Volunteer Experience Essay
For this year’s community service I helped out with my friend teach Sunday school. We taught about nine third graders who were pretty rambunctious. Since the kids would not listen to us half of the time, we had to become more serious with how we discipline them. This reminds me of when God punished the Israelites for being cowardly; he made them walk for 40 years without food or water. Even though our disciplinary methods were not as extreme, we did have the same intent on helping people change their attitudes. The Israelites sent 12 scouts to Canaan to take back their promised land; they returned back to the rest of the group to say that the Canaanites were huge, scary giants, whom should not be messed with! They decided to not invade Canaan, and they wanted to to go back to Egypt. However, God was very angry about this and thought that the Israelites needed to be taught a lesson for their cowardice. His punishment for them was to wander for 40 years, until the next generation of Israelites came. He said that the Israelites from Egypt will never see Canaan again, since they were so afraid to take back their land. While teaching Sunday school, Gabry and I had to come up with some consequences for the kids if they misbehaved. For example, they would not get candy at the end of class, or if their behavior became so disruptive we told them that we would talk to the principal of the school. This process was slow to progress at first, but near the end of the year more people started to behave.
During this year of community service, I volunteered at a couple different organizations. First, I started with volunteering at Sunday school, but I knew that I wanted to do more service, and I would not have had enough hours by the end of the year with just that one organization. I also volunteered at WATT club with through Holy Names, and I thought that was really fun. I learned with the sixth graders how to code HTML and I tried to help Lily and Lia lead the class and answer any questions. I did not know how effective I had been in helping them, considering those girls are outstanding computer science geniuses, and I am just a sophomore still in the computer science program. Well, at least I was another body occupying space in that classroom; at least I was physically there trying to help even though I may not have. As a result of these organizations being a learning experience for me on how to help teach a class, I think it has prepared me better for next year’s unknown obstacles. I did not necessarily feel like I was a leader because I was doing it with other people, but that still did not matter because I got a taste of what it would be like to be an actual teacher trying to teach a younger class. The role of leadership will be a large part of junior year and I need to get more comfortable with the idea of it. Teaching a class with other people was very conducive to helping me get used to being in a leadership position. Next year I don’t know if I can volunteer at the same organizations because it would not give me enough hours and I can only volunteer at one organization. I need to find organizations that have longer hours, like all day events during the weekends. I will probably continue to volunteer at those organizations, but will not count them as hours for school, because I can only volunteer at one organization next year.
When I was volunteering at St.John’s for WATT club, I got the chance to meet many intelligent young girls. Most of them were in fifth or sixth grade and they were all super welcoming and kind. After just watching a few Khan Academy videos, they were already on their way to creating their own websites in HTML! It was truly an eye-opening experience for me, because when I was a child all I could think about were barbies and princesses. These girls meanwhile, were very interested in learning how to code and I thought that was so cool! They were ambitious, especially for their age being only like 10 or 11. Previously, I had figured that most younger kids didn’t even know that computer science was a thing! I was even more surprised that all of the kids were so intellectual and could memorize HTML language so easily! I mean, I couldn’t even do that! Watching them design and talk about their websites was very interesting, because I could get a glimpse into their thoughts and ideas about day-to day life. One of the girls in the class, Chloe, created a website with different categories of games. Each game had a link that would take you to the actual website of the game! So someone could just pick one game that they liked and it would pull it up in a new browser. With all honesty, I thought that these kids were smarter than me, because they could accomplish new tasks so easily without even having to question it. I just need to take a step back and let myself breath for a moment. If I gain confidence, then I would have more faith in myself. Instead of appreciating myself, I appreciate others. I don’t want to be held to a certain standard where I am “good” or decent at something. Then I feel like I am put into this box where I don’t have room for mistakes. These girls taught me that it is important to try new things, and to always have a good self esteem.
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