I enjoyed reading Partners very much because I am pretty good at reading and believe it is a very valuable skill. Because I feel this way, I volunteered to help struggling kids learn how to read by trying to hone basic reading skills. I worked with a young boy named Hayden and he excited me because I reminded me of myself when I was younger. I was able to connect with him deeper tans eventually get him in a better place than we started. It was a enlightening experience.
Every week, I work with pediatric cancer patients for 2 hours. I am interested in pediatric health care, so this service, as all volunteering should be, is particularly interesting and meaningful. My shift unfortunately has many sleeping patients, so I often times help by decorating the play rooms or by getting coloring books for patients who are hanging out with their parents. However, when a patient is well enough or up to playing, the energy is fantastic. The hospital’s motto is that all employees and volunteers have the privilege to know the patients, and I feel this whenever I work or play with a patient. Even the smallest conversations brighten my day.
During this school year I have been working with an affliction on my church. While being there I was able to experience a heartwarming event in which we were able to help people who are in need. There what we would do is pack bags of food and give it to the people. There I was also able to meet some really interesting people there. It was also cool to know that this was an affliction of my church it made me feel a lot more comfortable and relaxed. I’m really glad that I was able to accept this opportunity, and I hope to do this again in the summer.
Over the summer I worked as a Leader In Training (LIT) at an Audubon camp in Cape Cod. I assisted the counselors and worked to make the counselors time easier, and make the campers time more fun. I worked there for four weeks and created a great bond with a lot of the kids. I hope to go back there next year and have the exact same experience. During the time I was there, I learned so much about working with kids and my peers. I also learned a lot about the environment and the natural preserves. This was both a exiting and rewarding experience, and I hope to go back next year.
This summer I participated in a one week intensive at The Robin Hood Foundation. Robin Hood is the largest non-profit in New York City that focuses on funding, searching, and creating programs that generate substantial help for families and people in poverty. Robin Hood believes that poverty is more than just one figure that everyone can fall under. They believe that their are more factors that lead to one being in poverty.
Each day, us group of students would be introduced to a new topic and organization concerning poverty that Robin Hood had partnered with. We would hear from someone who gave us background information on the topic and then we would go out to their facility or location and would hear about their process and how they help fight poverty with the work that they were doing. After the five days I had learned about five different organizations that fought poverty in their various ways and why and how Robin Hood was helping them reach their goals. Poverty and especially poverty in New York City is something that is greatly overlooked and the work Robin Hood does is more than necessary to fight it and have it come to an end.
I was very fortunate to have the opportunity to go to QYLC again last weekend, hosted by Brooklyn Friends and Mary McDowell. The topic was “Bridging Communities,” a very important thing to consider in light of the election and all else that is going on right now. The conference was attended by many other Quaker schools in the Northeast (and one from Canada!), so it was interesting to talk with other students who I share a Quaker education with. There were great speakers, including the CEO of NYC Planned Parenthood, Joan Malin, who spoke on a panel, and Niyonu Spann. I also went on a cultural trip to the Jewish Heritage Museum, which I found extremely insightful and relevant. Afterwards, I went on a service trip to a local childcare center to make valentines for the kids and to play with them for a bit. QYLC was a very insightful and fun experience.
At the 2017 Quaker Youth Leadership Conference, students from dozens of Quaker schools across the country came to share and learn from one another. This year’s theme was “Bridging Communities”, which seemed very fitting for this time. Students had the opportunity to visit museums and go on service trips in New York. I got to go to the 9/11 Tribute Center, where we got the perspective of a survivor of the attacks. Later, I went on a service trip to Crown Heights, where my group learned about affordable housing and the effects gentrification had on neighborhoods. This was very interesting because I had known about gentrification being a problem, but I had never had the chance to learn more intensely about the issue. I met lots of fun people at QYLC as well, and there was a great sense of community there.