There were many times in high school where I was completely bothered and angered by a person or situation. From having an organization leader belittle me in front of others, having a coach use an F bomb to explain his frustration about a bad play, or even taking a test that assessed content that was never taught. I would always tell my mom about these times and how much they infuriated me, she would always leave me with the same advice; don't worry about others so much, just be the best you that you can be, because at the end of the day they have to go home and live with themselves.
After hearing my mom give this advice over and over again, I finally listened. I decided to start doing more of the things I loved like volunteering. I had already been a Docent at the Cabrillo Marine Aquarium for three years prior to my freshman year, but decided to do more. So I joined a service group called Assisteens, which introduced me to hundreds of incredible volunteer opportunities.
Through Assisteens I became a volunteer at the Boys and Girls Club, where I was given the opportunity to be a mentor and friend to kids in summer camp. I was able to play games with kids, teach them how to read, and make sure everyone was included in the activities. After volunteering at the Boys and Girls Club, I felt like my service really had an impact, and as though I was able to improve the kids summer experiences at the B and G altogether.
After seeing the impact I had through volunteering, I decided it would be beneficial to continue my work in the field I wished to pursue, nursing. I applied to be a volunteer at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, and was one of twenty high schoolers selected. At Children’s Hospital I worked with patients and their parents to improve their hospital experience by playing games, answering their questions, and being a positive and supportive volunteer. My work at Children’s Hospital was by far the most rewarding and has strengthened my passion to become a nurse.
Through all of my volunteer work, I have learned that the gift of giving back to others is incredibly rewarding. Even our smallest acts of kindness or help or support can have an immense impact on others.