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Tips & Advice

The Smallest Things Can be Most Rewarding

I’m sure many teenagers have felt hopeless and like giving up when searching for volunteer opportunities and simply give back. I know I have.

I became aware of the fact that I wanted to volunteer in the summer of 2011, as I had just finished my exams and had a long summer ahead of me. So I began extensive background research on local organizations. I generally contacted organizations that were involved in helping the homeless, the elderly and young children suffering from terminal illnesses. Unfortunately each time I was told that I was too young or didn’t have the experience that was required. Eventually, it got to the point where I felt like giving up.

However, when I returned to school in September I started looking for opportunities which involved doing something I enjoyed. This was as equally rewarding yet didn’t require any form of qualifications or age restrictions. So very shortly after starting school again I was engrossed in a conversation with my English literature teacher about the children much younger than myself with reading ability and schoolwork that wasn’t quite at the standard it needed to be. Whether it was because they came from a background where their parents couldn’t give them the support they required or due to language barriers, these students were below grade level. After speaking to my teacher about this problem I decided I wanted to help, even if it was just helping one child have a better chance at doing well or just giving them a time to help them with reading and homework!

In no time, I was paired up with a young boy who was having difficulties with his reading and needed that extra support. I listened to him read, giving advice on how to spell words he couldn’t quite pronounce and helping him with schoolwork.

It is the best feeling to see an improvement in him and watch his passion for reading and desire to do well thrive. It’s amazing to know that my love for reading is having a positive effect on him! He always asks me to recommend him books to read. I always have a chat with him about the book after he has read it and I can see just how much he enjoyed reading it.

The best thing about helping his is hearing how teachers see how much he’s improving and how much he’s enjoying it.

Therefore for all teenagers who can’t find volunteer work, I urge you to just do something as small as helping a younger child who hasn’t perhaps had the start you have with schoolwork or improving a skill that you yourself are great at. The results you will see will bring with it one of the best feelings you’ll ever experience.