Youthlinc Service Year participants find themselves serving in all types of areas. Some people know they want to work with a specific group of people. Others just find themselves exactly where they are needed. These three participants knew they wanted to work with kids and they are beginning to see how much of a difference they are really making.
I’ve been volunteering at The Children’s Center for about six months now. I go once a week for three hours and I play with nine kids that are part of a class with two teachers. I’ve formed bonds with the kids in the class and they all know and love me now. The kids at The Children Center come from struggling backgrounds so each of the kids has their fair share to troubles. Since I’m not 18, I’m not allowed to know much about their backgrounds but I get bits and pieces as they talk to me, the teachers or other kids, and it’s heartbreaking. It is rewarding when one of them asks to sit by you at lunch or sit on your lap, but my favorite part is when they come up and randomly give you a hug. I was there today and a little boy that is very hard to connect with sometimes came up and hugged me and it completely made my week. I look forward to going every week because when I’m there, nothing else matters. All that matters is those kids and helping them. – Rachel, Guatemala Team 2014
I volunteer at the Boy and Girls Club in Utah County. I chose to volunteer here because I love working with kids and helping them and I thought this would be a great opportunity. I get the chance to work one on one with kids and help them with their homework as well as play games with them. I really love it because each child is different and I have the opportunity to learn about and get to know each one of them. They all come from a somewhat rough background and I love that I get to be there for them and not only help them, but become their friends. I look forward going there because I know that they will be excited to see me and make me feel welcomed no matter what. – Caitlin, Guatemala Team 2014
My main service site is the Scott School with Real Life. I really, really enjoy going there every Monday and Wednesday to hang out with the kids! They’re all very different in personality and talents, which has helped me to understand what kind of things I appreciate about people. For instance, there’s this one guy who seems to have taken a liking to Caleb and I. He is a lot of fun to be around! His English isn’t the best, so I’ve been helping teach him how to read. It’s fascinating to see how he learns, because it’s so much different than the way I learn. Also, he is much more persistent than I am, probably because he really wants to be able to converse with the people that come to hang with him every week. I’m amazed by how quickly he’s learning! It’s very rewarding to watch him making progress. I would probably continue to come every week even if I didn’t have to fill service hours. – Adam, Peru Team 2014