Over the summer, I worked for Zephyr Teachout’s campaign for NY attorney general. I helped campaign by making phone calls, putting up posters in front of stores and construction sites, and handing out pamphlets for her campaign. It was really difficult to get people to actually stop and listen, but making an impression on people was really satisfying. When it comes to positions like attorney general, a lot of people don’t really think about their decision so being able to inform them was really important.
At the end of August I went to Trinidad Tobago with the girls and boys varsity soccer teams. The first couple days were spent playing soccer games against the girls teams in Tobago. This was a great learning experience as many of the girls were very skillful. On the third day we went to a soccer field and practiced with kids of many age ranges living in Tobago. Unfortunately I was injured and unable to play, so I helped organize the soccer gear that was going to be donated to the kids. I helped many of the kids find their sizes in cleats and jerseys. It was great to see how happy they were when they saw all the new soccer gear especially since some of them had very worn down gear. Overall this was a great learning experience.
This August, I traveled to Tobago with the Girls and Boys Varsity Soccer teams. We played multiple games against teams there as well as having the chance to work with some of the kids enrolled in a soccer program there. We met them at a huge soccer field where some of their families had come to watch from the bleachers. There was a very big age range, from kids in lower school all the way through to high school. We warmed-up with them, did some conditioning, practiced drills, did cool-downs, and then they each got to chose at least one item from our donations. We had brought soccer jerseys, shorts, shin guards, cleats, and soccer socks fro them to chose from. While we practiced with them, we got the chance to chat and get to know them better. We asked each other questions about everything from hobbies to school.
One little girl asked me “What is snow like?” I started telling her about how it looks when it falls from the sky, how there are so many different types of snow, and how it feels to touch it. By the end of our conversation, two of her friends had come over and enthusiastically asked me to tell them more about it. Until that point, I had never thought of snow as having any kind of value. It was always just something that happened in winter, and if you wanted to you could play in it. Of course, when I was younger I would get excited when I woke up and there was a White Christmas or if there was a Snow Day for school and I got to go sledding, but I had always taken it for granted. That night when we got back to out hotel, I thought about all the things I take for granted. I realized that there are so many things, from my pets and the fact that we can take them to the vet regularly, to being able to ski every winter in Vermont, to not having to think twice about buying new soccer gear when it gets worn out, to my phone which I use everyday, and even to the fact that I was able to go to Tobago at all. I thought about how one small conversation was able to have such an affect on me and now I cannot wait to go on more service trips and meet more people.
Over the summer, I worked at a program called SHINE! This is a program affiliated with Super Soccer Stars, a program which helps young kids learn soccer. At SHINE! however, they take it a step further, instead focusing on younger kids with physical and learning disabilities. I worked as an assistant coach, and throughout many weeks of working with the kids, I have done a variety of tasks, including setting up drills to demonstrations to just being supportive of the kids. My job has allowed me to grow close to all of the kids that I have worked with, and it is very rewarding to see their huge progress over such a short period of time.
published on sept 30th, 2018, 11:24pm
This past summer, I volunteered to be a junior counselor at Green Acre Bahá’í School in Eliot, Maine, for Camp Green Acre, a camp for middle school-aged children who were coming to learn more about the Bahá’í Faith and to meet new friends and enjoy each other. Throughout my week at Green Acre, I was responsible for bringing kids to various activities, making sure they were well fed, making sure they were safe, teaching them about the Faith, and ultimately, being a good and close friend to them, as well as a solid role model (I tried my best to fulfill that last one:)). Besides spending time with the campers, I also spent a day editing a music video that I and some of the other counselors made with the Digital Arts interest group at camp, (the kids were all asked to sign up for different groups that they were interested in, I was responsible for looking over the Digital Arts group along with some other counselors) that was made along the song Colors by Jason Derulo, written for the World Cup. Finally, when I wasn’t spending time with my and the rest of the campers, I was spending time with my co-counselors, many of which were youth that I had met before, but many were also new people I had never met before, and were so happy to meet and share amazing times with. I was so honored to spend a week of my time at Green Acre, and I can’t wait to go back and serve there again.
This summer, I volunteered at Lucky Orphans, a no-kill horse rescue based in Dover Plains, NY. Lucky Orphans has a mission to provide a forever home and sanctuary for horses that have been abused, neglected or abandoned and promotes positive interactions between horses and humans. Lucky Orphans is home to 51 horses, including special needs horses and off the track thoroughbreds. When volunteering at Lucky Orphans I helped to provide care for the 51 horses. For example, when volunteering, I completed necessary tasks such as grooming and bathing the horses. I also helped out by cleaning the manure from stalls and paddocks and I fed the horses. I worked with many different types of horses, from those that are blind to miniature ponies. I also practiced liberty work, to help improve the interaction between the animals and people.
Towards the end of August the boys and girls varsity soccer teams headed out for a trip to Trinidad and Tobago. On this trip, we stayed in a beautiful resort enjoyed quality time without friends at the beach, toured the beautiful island of Tobago, played local teams, and even hosted a clinic for many local soccer players between ages 6 and 18. Touring the island and immersing ourselves in the local culture was a fun, and eye-opening experience, and participating in the clinic and donating soccer gear to local players was also very fun and heartwarming. Overall it was truly an amazing trip.
Over the summer, I volunteered at Creative Art Start, an art camp in the city for younger children. I focused on helping kids make their own movies. I taught and helped them use cameras and other equipment, as well as doing the final editing and visual effects for the films. I really enjoyed being able to instill my passion for film making in the students and teach them new skills that they will be able to make use of later on. I often got really invested in their projects, and always wanted to make sure the final product was something I’d be proud of too.
In the last week before school started, the Friends Seminary Varsity soccer team travelled to Tobago for a week. We played youth teams from the country, trained with teenagers from Tobago, but the most important and rewarding part for me was the clinic that we ran one day. Before the trip, we were told to gather any soccer equipment that we had and bring it with us. Once we arrived, we gathered it all together and brought it to a soccer field on the island. About 75 kids showed up, ranging in ages form 5 to 17. We first did some warm up drills with them, then did actual soccer technical drills. After all of that, each camper got to go into the stash of equipment and take one thing that they needed. I helped the younger kids mostly try on cleats and make sure that they fit. All of the kids also received a t shirt at the end with a water bottle and bag. For me, it was super rewarding to see that something that I might not need can be put into great use in another part of the world.
This summer I volunteered at the Trevor Zoo in Millbrook, NY. At the Zoo, I worked directly with the animals and helped prepare their food and feed them. My main task however, was cleaning their enclosures daily because the animals require significant upkeep to ensure their health. I was also sometimes tasked with weeding and clearing brush around the enclosures. My favorite part was doing enrichment activities where I had the chance to interact with wild animals such as the red panda, fox, and porcupine. Working at the Zoo provided me with a behind-the-scenes view into the operations of a zoo, and let me see firsthand the role zoos play in animal rehabilitation and conservation.