Yesterday was bitter sweet because it was our last day volunteering in NYC and NJ. I got the chance to work with the children at the Boys and Girls Club of Newark New Jersey. For me, arriving to Newark was returning home. I grew up around the area so I was excited to help out in the community any way I could.
Our first day volunteering at the BGCN, the children came in and they were extremely sweet and respectful to all of us. All of the kids were excited to see us because they knew that by us being there, we cared about them. I was assigned to work with the teens, and I had the opportunity to help them with their school work. This was my first experience working with kids, so I didn’t know what to expect. As it turns out, I enjoyed helping them with their math homework and speaking with them about what they love to do.
After they were done with their school work, we headed to the gym for some exercise; they helped me with my basketball skills. I absolutely loved hearing all about their dreams and what they wanted to do when they graduate highschool. I hated that most of them felt that couldn’t make it to college. Being that I grew up in Newark, I encouraged them to pursue their passions just as I did. I told them that if something makes you happy then it’s worth the hard work. I could relate to them because I also grew up with little money wondering where my next meal was going to come from. Because of that, I knew the value in working hard to get the things that I want.
Not only have the children been great to work with, all the volunteers were a blast. I got the chance to meet some of the nicest and friendliest college students from all over they country. Everyone was amazing which made this trip very special to me. I also want to mention how great the staff at the Boys and Girls Club has been too. I see the way the kids admire and respect them, which inspires me to do the best that I can.
Apart from volunteering at the club, Thursday we got the chance to work at the NY Distribution food pantry. That day alone, we packaged over 30,000 meals for the people in need in that area. I’m excited about spending more of my time volunteering anywhere I can. I’m very grateful Wake Tech has jump started a drive in me because before completing my service learning project through the school and this ASB trip, I didn’t know where to start. Now, I can’t wait for my next volunteering project.