Imagine, during the summer, waking up in the darkness of the morning, reaching with tired arms for the alarm clock at 7:30 a.m., stumbling into the bathroom and starting the day. This was my experience over this summer, which (little did I know) would change my life and help me grow.
Five days a week for the entire summer (a summer I was supposed to have spent lounging in the sun and hanging with my friends), I volunteered at Pius Daycare, which is a part of Youth and Family Services. Many of the children are there because their parents abuse drugs and are in the process of rehabilitation. This job was not exactly how I had dreamed my summer would be, but I had decided that I wanted a special diploma which required 300 hours of community service.
The children's ages in the daycare ranged from three to five. At first, I helped out with Arts and Crafts, basic math and read stories. As time went on, and more of the children felt comfortable with me, I became more involved with their emotional and psychological problems. Because I was so involved with the children, I consequently became emotionally attached and began to enjoy working there.
Community service turned out to be a rewarding experience. I felt that I was helping children who couldn't help themselves. As a result of volunteering at the daycare, I decided that I would like to become an elementary school teacher. When you are a teacher you have the opportunity to touch and slightly alter a child's life. Children learn the basic skills of life from school and teachers can also learn from children. I still visit the children from time to time, and all of the hugs, kisses, love, and appreciation that I received during the summer was worth waking up early . fl
This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.