Gratification

2 Nov

Growing up my parents were not huge advocates of volunteering. They wanted me to focus on my own problems and not commit to much time to the problems of others. They had also had some bad experiences volunteering and did not want me to have similar experiences. In high school, I made sure I completed hours so that I would be eligible for National Honors Society and to impress colleges. None of my volunteer work was that meaningful or made much of a difference in the world. I would volunteer for my school’s open house or to usher at a concert.

Then I decided to get a job during the summer working at a YMCA camp for children with emotional and physical challenges. This quickly transformed from a job to a passion. I had honestly never done a task so rewarding in my entire life. For the first time, I felt I actually might be making a difference in another person’s life; I felt like I mattered and was contributing to society. The children were a challenge to work with, but I found myself enjoying every minute of it.

As I headed off towards college I was determined to continue to work with children or young adults. This time I wanted to volunteer because I enjoyed volunteering and being a child’s support system.

As I have worked in the AmeriCorps programs at Washington Park Elementary, America Reads, and at the Lemoyne Center I have slowly developed better skills in regards to building relationships and bonds with kids. This experience will allow me to adapt well to any environment I will be presented if I choose to pursue the path of being a teacher. Although the children usually do not show any form of gratification or thanks, when they give me a smile, tell me to have a nice day, or give me hug, it makes all of the months and hours of time, commitment, and work worth while.

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2 Responses to “Gratification”

  1. Alex November 2, 2011 at 2:54 am #

    Great job Jath! Although the kids might not say it that often, I’m sure that they appreciate all of your hard work and dedication 🙂 Keep it up!

    • Megs November 2, 2011 at 1:52 pm #

      Thanks for the post Jath. The students are responding to you- you said it yourself that asked where you were because they missed you!!

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