Since the beginning of the year, I have been volunteering at a Nepalese community center to help kids from grades K-7 with their homework, every week on Sundays. We go over their homework and help them correct any mistakes and then review content that is giving someone trouble- and afterwards, we might play spelling games or have a math relay. Many of the kids are unable to recieve homework help at home due to their parents’ busy schedules or lack of affordability. This experience has been really rewarding for me because I really felt as if I was making a difference in these kids’ academic progress.
In the fall, I helped set up a fundraiser for Women for Women International, which gives women around the world in war torn countries opportunities in business, health care, and education. For the fundraiser, I helped set up, make refreshments, greet the guests, and generally host. The fundraiser for Women for Women International aimed to spread awareness regarding the organization and encouraged people to sponsor a “sister” , which is a long term beneficial relationship with a woman in need across the world. Sponsoring a sister establishes a pen pal relationship and the ability to help your sister get fully educated and fund her own business. The fundraiser was very successful-many people came, and I also got the opportunity to learn more about the specific struggles of women around the world and what I can do to help.
For our Youth Philanthropy Initiative project, my group and I chose to focus LGBTQ youth discrimination. Initially, I was not very enthusiastic about the topic. I cared about LGBTQ bullying, but I had wanted to focus on a topic in which I deemed more “serious”. Over the course of the project, my attitude changed as I realized that LGBTQ discrimination had dire consequences and was a very important issue. Through our site visit at GLSEN, I learned more about the effects and related issues that LGBTQ discrimination can cause, and learned about how GLSEN uses their funds. I found it difficult, however, to present this information in an effective, engaging way. Before, it had always been hard for me to speak fluidly while presenting anything, and I had never really presented in front of such a large number of people. This project helped me develop speaking and presentation skills. It was a rewarding experience to be able to show our presentation on service day, and to spread awareness of our issue. Our school’s GSA is involved with GLSEN, so that is one way we will be able to stay in touch with our organization. Additionally, I am going to tell people about GLSEN and their programs, so others can reach out and support them as well.