The Connection Between Courage and 50 Hours
Adaptability, teamwork, communication skills– these are all possible answers you may receive in response to the question, “What did you gain from your volunteer experience?” These answers are all valid. I’ve also gained these skills myself; however, my experience with the Youth Volunteer Corps gave me something that I couldn’t find anywhere else.
The high school that I attend is very academically rigorous. While my peers were great at motivating me to challenge myself academically, it was difficult to find people who shared my passion for creating change. It was when I signed up for the 50 Hour Pledge with my local YVC where things began to change. I began to volunteer more frequently in order to complete the pledge, and as I volunteered more.
Some of the volunteers I’ve met have started organizations in support of issues they’re passionate about. Seeing their accomplishments made the idea of creating change less daunting to me. These organizations weren’t started by people I heard about on the news or read about on social media; they were people I volunteered with, people I knew in person. Creating change was no longer something far-fetched that I only read about. It was right in front of me, brought to life by high school students just like me.
Suddenly, taking action no longer seemed so intimidating. I was surrounded by inspiring individuals who supported my goals. Why should I be afraid?Talking to these youths also made my goals more tangible. They’ve helped me break down the issue and make it less intimidating, as well as provide me with ideas as to where I could possibly start. This year, I’m the president of my high school’s Earth Club, and I hope to raise awareness about issues threatening our environment, and also inspire my school community the same way Youth Volunteer Corps inspired me.
About the Author:
Hello! My name is Jasmine Zhao and I am currently in my last year of high school. When I’m not in class or studying, I can usually be found in my school’s band room practicing oboe, at the local library absorbed in a new book, or (of course) volunteering with YVC. No matter where the future takes me, I hope to never stop learning.