This week marks National Volunteer Week, and to celebrate we set out to find students working to better their community – and even world. We were astounded with the amazing stories that students shared with us. We hope the stories below inspire you to celebrate Volunteer Week and seek out opportunities to help out in your own communities.
Lauren – 19, MA
This past winter we learned that a student who had previously gone on a Service Learning Tour with us in the Dominican Republic, Lauren C., was back there volunteering with one of our non-profit partners, the Mariposa DR Foundation. The foundation, a center in Cabarete that provides young Dominican and Haitian girls with access to education and healthcare, had stood out to Lauren during her trip last March. The foundation’s mission to empower young women immediately connected with Lauren and in the short time she was there she knew it was an organization she wanted to be part of. Read her full story here.
Krystyna – 18, NY
Krystyna, a freshman engineering major, is in the process of developing The Beautiful Brains Campaign, which sets out to challenge the portrayal of beauty in the media and its impact on young women. Through the campaign, Krystyna is setting up an afterschool program for middle school girls in her hometown.
“My idea was inspired by my amazing and intelligent 11-year-old cousin who knows she can create her own happiness by being who she is.”
Andrea – 17, NH
Andrea founded a chapter of the non-profit organization, She’s the First at her high school. The chapter’s mission is to provide a clearer understanding of complex issues related to generational poverty around the world through running creative fundraisers. The group, which is made up of 30 students, has planned bake sales, movie nights, a pancake breakfast and trivia night. The group even organized a Jewelry Trunk Show that raised $3,000 to sponsor 8 students from Nepal, Tanzania and Ethiopia.
“She’s the First has helped me recognize my potential by making me a more globally aware and driven student, and has given me the opportunity to influence my community to value education and strive to create a better world.”
Conor – 18, FL
Conor has logged an impressive 1,300 volunteer hours with a non-profit that helps support his community’s growing elderly population to live safely and independently in their own homes. His mom actually shared Conor’s story.
“He is dedicated to serving our community and our senior citizens. Conor has even been awarded by the organization that he serves as volunteer of the year.”
Briana – 16, TX
Briana created an anti-bullying campaign at her community’s elementary, middle and high school. Her class alone has helped raise awareness around bullying and created a comprehensive list of the various types of bullying that can occur.
“We have showed people how to help those who are being bullied and how to stand up for those without a voice.”
Romana – 18, TX
Romana is setting out to form her own non-profit organization that provides access to clean water and hygiene products to Uganda. Through the organization, she hopes to help tackle the basic needs of poverty and the consequences these issues can cause for Uganda’s health care system, education and overall livelihood. Romana got the inspiration to start her own non-profit after attending a leadership conference a few years ago.
“I felt moved to form a strategic business plan for my charitable non-profit organization. I had the privilege to have a life-changing experience that motivated me to acquire a new perspective on life regarding what impact I want to make on the world.”