There Is No Limit In Community Service This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

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   I never realized how community service can make a difference. I feel I have helped build the confidence of fifteen little girls.

Now, I may not have volunteered at a hospital or helped the homeless, but I coached a cheerleading team of fifteen anxious fourth, fifth, and sixth graders. This may not seem like a difficult task, or a job that deserved community service hours, but I believe it did.

In August, when I first began coaching, only two of the girls had experience in cheerleading. Most were shy and unsure of themselves and their ability. So, as you can see, my job, along with three other coaches, was not only to teach them the fundamentals of cheerleading, but to help them see their talent and build their self-confidence.

We also had to teach them to work as a team. We told them that age did not matter. Just because a girl was two grades ahead of you did not mean that she was better and could boss you around. Not only was this hard to teach the younger girls this, but it was hard for the older girls to see that they were not better just because they were older.

We pointed out that trust was a large part of cheerleading. We gave them this example: If you are being lifted up into a pyramid, and do not trust your spots, then you will fall, no questions asked.

By mid-season, the girls were acting like a team. They had confidence in themselves and in each other. They acted like a family, looking out for one another. The older girls were no longer separate from the rest of the group; everyone was an equal.

I think, through the dedication, commitment, and hard work of by us as coaches, that we have brought this change. And we have taught them to believe in themselves and each other. So even though we had some rough times, this made my whole experience worthwhile. It also led me to believe that no matter what you do for community service, you can make a difference. fl


This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.






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