A volunteering story by: Jessica smith

Sierra joined together with members from her club soccer team to help out at this Hispanic school, Mariposa Academy. She did several different activities while helping out at the facility. Sierra reads many different stories to the kids there. That’s how they open up their activities, is with reading. She would get a lot of one on one time with most of them, and truly understand the things they were going through. After reading, they play soccer for about an hour. Sierra and her teammates came up with different things to teach each of the individuals prior to actually going. She would get a small group of girls in which she taught a lot of different fundamentals that would help them be much better at soccer. Sierra plays forward so that’s what her group was based upon. They practice scoring goals, and different techniques on how to improve on it. Sierra said, “honestly, it didn’t even feel like I was doing community service at all. I think it’s because I love connecting with the kids so much, and we both share so much love for the sport of soccer. I think it’s kind of funny that you ask what my task was, because I never have really thought of it as a job.” She and her soccer friends go twice a week every single week for about two hours to help. Sierra looks forward to going, and doesn’t even look at it as volunteering, but rather as something she looks forward to doing.

The Inspiration

The initial reason Sierra decided to donate time here was because, being a part of the soccer team, they were required to do it. The coach felt it would be good for the girls on the team to get more exercise in, while donating time at the same time. She loves giving back, and donating her time, so it wasn’t an unordinary thing for her to do. Sierra often does communite sercice, so this was sort of just another addition onto the others she has done. Her coach and teammates are the ones who technically inspired her and got her into this specific task, but she ultimately volunteers because she loves it. That’s one of the main reasons she does it because of the emotional rewards she gains from it. Sierra, being Hispanic herself, truly understands the little kids she is helping out. She is very good at helping them with things like racial issues or even more surface level issues. She also shares the same passion for soccer as they do. This almost seemed like the absolute perfect fit for her to do community service at because the children that attend are so similar to her. Also, a lot of the children that go there are less fortunate or unprivileged, so she especially enjoyed donating her time to them. Sierra’s coach found the most perfect place to volunteer at, and allowed her to let both herself and the children to get the absolute most out of the experience.

The Aha! moment…

Sierra learned so much from the experience. She said, ” I have taken part in many different community service opportunities, but this is definitely my favorite. The children teach me so much while I’m there, and I enjoy it so much. It’s so apparent that they admire and look up to us by the way they act, and that is such an awesome feeling.” Sierra learned that there are so many children out there, that aspire to be like her. She wants to stay on the right track and continue to inspire the children because it is important to both them and her. Sierra also learned to be extremely proud of her heritage. One of the little girls that attend the school said to Sierra, ” I just wish I could have blonder hair and lighter skin.” Sierra’s heart ached by the words that came out of the little girls mouth. She wanted to make sure that the girl felt proud and honored to look how she does and be the way she is. By explaining these positive things to the little girl, it truly helped Sierra realize that she, too, needed to embrace all of whom she is.

To summarize it in three words…

  • Inspiring, carefree, awesome

Why should you do this

She has been volunteering for so long because of how beneficial it is to her, personally. The feeling of great reward she gets from doing it makes it so worth it. Sierra said, “I would really love if the people volunteering and donating their time could feel even an ounce of what I feel when I do it. They would want to do it every single day if they did.” She is so inspired and touched by the experiences she has been through with community service and would totally reccomend that every one do it.

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