Letter to the Editor: Let Me Tell You a Story About Service
My name is Leah. I have been a YVC member for 4 years, and this is my story. I am currently a senior at Savannah High School. If all of the adults could pause here for a moment and think about what it was like to be a senior in high school. Breathe. Reflect. Smile a little. Feel a twinge of anxiety. You may remember, senior year is full of fun and stress, and I’m sure my parents are tired of hearing me talk about how I need to get my life together. My parents and many adults around me tell me that for a 17-year old, I do in fact have my life together.
I am a member of the united states military. I currently serve in the Air National Guard in Aerial Port. I will have my CNA in march through the health occupations program at my high school. I have been accepted into all 5 colleges that I have applied to. My golf season has gone amazingly well. My team won Conference for the first time since 2008. We won Districts for the first time since 2008, as well, and we took second at sectionals and went to state as a team since the first time since 2015. You may be thinking why is this highschooler telling us her life story? I’m telling you this because I truly believe I wouldn’t be where I am at without Youth Volunteer Corps.
I started going to Youth Alliance, my local YVC host, with my friend Kayton because her mom was going to take us to Artscape at Missouri Western State University. Kayton and I would run around the Youth Alliance office and Angie would talk about summer service. A short time later, Kayton and I began volunteering after school. Then, we started doing summer service and more after school projects. Volunteering became I big part of my life. Soon I was on the Youth Advisory Board. The following year, my sophomore year in High School, I was on the Youth Advisory Board for St. Joseph and the International Youth Advisory Board (IYAB) with YVCHQ.
Last year, I was the President of the Youth Advisory Board for St.Joseph, a member of IYAB’s Executive Team, and a Brand Ambassador for YVCHQ. I was able to attend Summit 2018 in Charleston, South Carolina, thanks to fundraising through Youth Alliance and sponsors. I couldn’t be more thankful to have the opportunity to go that summit because it relit my passion for volunteering. At summit, I stepped outside of my comfort zone and led a conversation for an IYAB challenge at the opening meeting. I led a project showcase about the garden we started at the Youth Alliance funded with grant money. I bonded with fellow volunteers from across the US and Canada. This year, I hold the same positions on the Youth Advisory Board and International Youth Advisory Board.
I am a civic and community leader, a youth volunteer. I am an advocate. I speak up and out for those who can’t. During my time volunteering with YVC, hosted by Youth Alliance, has opened so many doors for my future. I have networked and made friends throughout the community, made connections with people across the country, and – most importantly – learned a lot about my community. With all the gratefulness I have received, I must admit that sometimes I am met with less positive feedback. Students and teachers telling me I’m wasting time and how I’m too good of a person. Who would’ve thought being too good of a person would be something to be criticized about. I believe they have just never experienced volunteering. Volunteering has given me so many experiences that are so amazing, they are truly invaluable. I could talk to you all day about how much I enjoy volunteering, but unless you volunteer yourself you will never truly understand. It’s love that builds a community and without YVC and host agencies, like Youth Alliance, there would be less love. Thank you.
My name is Leah Craig and I have been a member of the International Youth Advisory Board for three years. This will be my second year on the International Youth Advisory Board Executive Team. I am a senior at Savannah High School and plan to pursue a career in the medical field as a BSN/RN. I am involved in golf, National Honor Society, Savage Ambassador, SHS leadership, and volunteer at my local YVC of St. Joseph. I will continue to serve my community by joining the Air National Guard through College. I am excited for this year and can’t wait to see what we accomplish!