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How Volunteering Gave Me a Voice


I was just an average, mopey, sixth grader. I was involved in nothing special. I partook in no sports and I wasn’t engaged in any after school clubs. I just went to school, came home, did my homework, and went to bed. My life was boring and uneventful. Then, one day I started to spend time at my local Boys and Girls Club. This was the moment where my life changed for the better. After going to the Club for a couple of months, the Youth Volunteer Corps coordinator talked to me and my parents about taking my time and going to projects.

 Given that I had a shy personality, I had absolutely no interest in participating in spending time with senior citizens at the retirement home. However, my parents convinced me, and I decided to go.

It started off horribly. I ended up missing the van that gives us rides to the project, so they had to come back and get me. It was super embarrassing, and it made me even more shy to my fellow volunteers. I’ll be honest, the project was slow, but I could tell the difference that I was making. By the time we left the retirement home, I could tell that all of the residents’ days had improved. It made me realize the impact that little things can make.


I have now been volunteering with YVC for over four years, participated on three Youth Advisory Boards, and am now on the International Youth Advisory Board. It has led me in such a good direction for life. YVC has given me so many gifts, I cannot thank the program enough. I can now speak without being shy, and I have the knowledge to help when help is needed, and even when it is not needed. I have met so many new people and have made so many new friends. After going to YVC Summit, this last November, I expanded my idea of how many people this organization has impacted.

Youth Volunteer Corps has given me a drive to get work done that I would never have had without it. It has taught me that even when you miss the van, you can still get work done.



Hi my name is Brett Budnik and I am from Alpena Michigan.  I have been volunteering with YVC Alpena since I was in the sixth grade! I am currently a student at Alpena High School. YVC has really helped me be able to learn more about my community and its needs. I enjoy bike riding, swimming, and hanging out with my dog “Bubba”. Alpena is in Northeastern part of the lower peninsula in Michigan. I have lived here my entire life, but boy we sure do have cold winters! I am honored to be able to be a part of IYAB and have the chance to learn more about other YVC groups!


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