Teen Summit 2015 (Community Service)

November 27, 2016

Orange Teen Summit is hosted by students and teachers in the small town of Orange, NJ. Learn about all the great things going on for everyone in Orange. Voice your opinion about what changes you want. We will have another conversation with law enforcement and the community about Trust, Respect, and Positive Attitudes!

My eyes read the brightly colored poster left to right, when stopped, I looked up at my Honors Algebra 1 teacher who was gently smiling. "Why don't you volunteer? It'll help you start your community service earlier." The words "community service" sparked happiness in my heart. It would be a lovely afternoon to spend, and helping others is my specialty. 

The evening came and I approached a local elementary school, eager to start my task. I was greeted by High Schoolers and helped unpack free books on the tables, set up regristration tables with chromebooks, place the chairs in front of the stage, and hand out free t-shirts. I suddenly became a jack of all trades when the chromebooks suddenly stopped working, and the laptop would not play the track number. 

Students, 6th-12th, came into the auditorium, some holding books, and some already reading their books. The t-shirts ran out almost immediately. I stood proudly next to the registration table in my all-black uniform. I helped translate the registration form for families and kept an eye on the computers. From the red clock that stood on top of bleachers, it was 7pm. I got to connect with old friends that scattered to other schools, and had a chance to reconnect with my old teachers. 

The Teen Summit opened up with a dancing ensemble performed by the sublime dancers at Orange Preperatory Academy. A guest speaker spoke out on violence, a truly inspiring, yet humorous skit. Up next came a Teen Pep showcase from the students of the High School. We spoke on the issues of our community and potential resolutions. I have never seen such a tight-knitted community. Did I mention the Mayor came as well? The Mayor took suggestions and thanked all who came out. 

I volunteered for more than 4 hours, but time was not on my mind as I served cookies and juice to the children. A few farewells were said to my teachers and the students began walking home. Alas, it was a tiring evening, after a short ride home, I sat back in my bean bag and began finishing my homework, eager to talk about the evening tomorrow. 

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