From Volunteer to Leader

Olivia - Western ConnecticutVolunteering has been a huge part of my life for as far back as I can remember. My mom always instilled in me the importance of making time count, therefore volunteering only seemed natural. I came across my local YVC and realized it was the exact thing I was looking for.

I got off to a slow start with my local YVC of Western Connecticut program, volunteering mostly in the summer through our Summer of Service projects. I then came across an application for YVC’s International Youth Advisory Board. I figured I would send an application just to see what would happen.

Receiving a position on the board provided me with the opportunity of truly getting to know YVC as a program. During the Summit I learned just how impactful YVC has been on communities as well as individuals’ lives. I had the pleasure of meeting fellow volunteers from all across the United States as well as a few from Canada. I heard stories of past projects and people that stuck in volunteers’ minds.

Western Connecticut - Summer 2013 (12)After the Summit in Kansas City, I returned to Connecticut alongside my Program Director brimming with ideas to better our YVC. We sat down together and reviewed our notes from the Summit to see what we could bring to our community.

Since the Summit, the Youth Volunteer Corps of Western Connecticut has been a constant force of positive change in our community. We have tons of projects that appeal to all different interests such as monthly sessions tutoring elementary schoolers as well as hanging out with senior citizens.

We have created a Youth Advisory Board which has equipped our Affiliate with youth leadership and feedback. Our program’s growth correlates with my own as a volunteer. I have become a lot more involved, attending more projects, introducing new project ideas and leading whenever I can.

Olivia Harris volunteers with YVC of Western Connecticut and is a member of YVC’s International Youth Advisory Board.