Reflective Essay On Volunteering

I am spending my time volunteering at St. Marks United Methodist Church (St. Marks UMC). This church is an open community, working to create a comfortable atmosphere for anyone and everyone in and around the area. I work specifically with the youth of the church and I reach out to students who are my age or younger than me. I have been volunteering at St. Marks for almost four years, assisting in many different groups and organizations sponsored by our church.

I volunteer at this church because it has given me an opportunity to be myself, explore talents, and make strong connections, and I want to help continue this effort and reach out to kids who are struggling with a lot of the same difficulties I faced. I believe that volunteering here is a great experience for someone studying psychology because you meet and get to know many kids who are facing various issues in their lives. According to Erik Erikson, these teens are in the stage of fidelity and face the challenge of Identity vs. Role Confusion.

Creating connections with other peers and adults is important in this stage and I want to help out these youth as they discover their identity. Many of the children who attend youth services, events and other activities often express that they feel a strong connection with the leaders and other students. Personally, during my time as a youth, experienced a feeling of being loved and appreciated by adults and youth in the community of St. Marks UMC. This connection helped me mature and planted a desire for me to help others create strong bonds so that no one ever has to feel alone or lost.

It is very important for us to create a warm and safe environment for the youth and I am so thankful to be able to give back to this community. St. Marks UMC has a very big impact on our society. St. Marks Youth not only creates a healthy and safe atmosphere for kids, but raises leaders and helps the kids expand on their talents. I am part of the student leadership team, worship team, and I lead the dance team. These are only a few ways St. Marks encourages the students to expand and learn about their talents.

The youth are given the freedom to help be a leader, play an instrument, sing, or dance as they learn more about themselves and their gifts. Furthermore, these gifts are shared with others. Members of our worship team can sing or play for their peers and the dance team performers for the entire church. This gives the students self-confidence and helps develop life skills, while sharing these positive skills with member of their community. St. Marks also impacts our society because these students are encouraged to step out and volunteer in other places as well.

Twice a year, students are given the ability to spend a week making connections with each other and volunteering with the community. Students do various activities from leading a camp for young homeless kids to cleaning up litter in Downtown Melbourne. St. Marks UMC is continuing to reach out and as it expands further, it will continue to affect our society in a positive way. When I volunteer at St. Marks, I help in various ways. I sing for our church on Sunday mornings and Sunday nights, along with helping to train other singers for our youth group.

I also help out at the bake sale every 4th Sunday, helping to raise funds so students are able to attend events such as the camps I discussed previously, as well as leisurely events, in order to reach out and support students who typically are unable to afford these events. I also run a dance team and I choreograph and teach dances to young students. This helps boost their self confidence as well as to simply enjoy themselves while creating a wonderful masterpiece to preform for others. Another group that I help in is the leadership team. A group of student leaders and I meet every week to discuss future plans and how we can improve St.

Marks Youth. This group is important in planning and ensuring that St. Marks provides a comfortable environment for students to learn and grow. I volunteer in many different aspects of St. Marks UMC but every area is special and requires a lot of time and work. Daily Volunteer Log October 20th – Today I spent an hour and a half with the dance team. We are preparing a shadow dance, which is a dance preform behind a screen and the shadows cast on the screen tell the story. This dance will be preformed on Sunday so we are all putting in effort to work hard so everything will run smoothly for the performance.

October 22nd- I spent a quick hour practicing for the songs this upcoming Sunday. A long with the dance, I will be singing with the band. We rehearsed everything for Sunday quickly and efficiently so I feel prepared for Sunday. October 24th- This Saturday we spent an extra three hours perfecting the dance. I spent a lot of time with my team and it was a wonderful bonding experience. Everyone worked hard and I can tell that everyone feels confident about the dance and their role. I am looking forward to the performance! October 25th- Today was the day that everything happened!

It has been quite a busy day and I spent over ten hours working at St. Marks. First, I came in early for another run through of the songs of the songs we were going to be singing. Then, I ran through the dance quickly with my girls. We preformed twice and everything ran great! I know all of my dancers really enjoyed the experience and I am already planning for the next dance. I also stayed for longer than normal to help out with the youth bake sale. I went home for a few hours and then returned for our leadership meeting, youth worship practice, and then youth group. Everything went great!

It was a really good day and I am proud of everything accomplished today! November 5th-We had another practice for Sundays worship and everything went well. I am always excited to sing on Sundays so I always have a wonderful time on Thursdays. It is so great to be able to give to the community while doing something I love. November 8thToday was a typical Sunday for me. I begin by going in early to practice our songs. Then, I sing for the church and the go home for a few hours to take a break and spend time with my family. After, I return for the leadership meeting, youth worship practice and finally youth group!

Even though I spend lots of time preparing for youth group, it is such an amazing experience every night. I never get bored volunteering here because it is so much fun to spend time with all of these kids while doing things I love. November 12th-Yet another Thursday! Worship seems to be going great. I was feeling a little under the weather today but I persevered on because I truly enjoy doing this. It tends to be tiring but it pays off. The joy I feel when others come up to me and thank me and tell me that I have touched their hearts is priceless and I would not give it up for anything.

November 15th- I was still sick this Sunday but I pushed through. I still sang on Sunday morning, went to the leadership meeting, attended youth worship, and helped out at youth group. Even though I have not felt too great all day, just being here has made me feel so much better. Spending time at youth group is always a highlight of my week! November 22nd- I did not sing at church this morning since I was unable to attend Thursday practice in lieu of other volunteer activity I participated in at my school. Also, there was no leadership meeting. However, I still came to practice for the youth worship band and was at youth group.

I did not spend as much time volunteering this week but helping out here at St. Marks UMC is still very important to me and I will continue to do it for as long as I can! Being a volunteer with St. Marks UMC has been such a huge part of my life. My entire family is also involved with the church and we love every moment of it. I have learned that I can be a leader. This is something I never thought I would be able to do since I am a big introvert, yet volunteering here has helped me come out of my shell. I have had incredible experiences with the youth here and it has really helped me to grow and become a leader.

I also learned the importance of connection. These kids thrive off of social connections which I rarely experience regularly due to my introverted nature. However, I have discovered the importance of loving and feeling love, especially at this age. Furthermore, have learned that I am more talented than I have ever known. Volunteering here has really stretched me, and I have discovered that nothing is impossible if you set your heart to it. I would have never imagined that I would be singing on stage, choreographing a dance, or helping lead a youth group.

I think volunteering here has helped to boost my own self confidence and learn more about my abilities and the many ways I can share them with other people. Three positive aspects of this experience is that I am able support the students and watch them grow, explore my own talents while helping the students expand theirs, and I am able to be a encouraging mentor for them. Some negative aspects are that it does take a lot of time, work, and causes a lot of stress in my busy schedule, however, being apart of this group is such a special experience and I would not trade it for the world.

In conclusion, volunteering here has been one of the best decisions I have ever made. It truly has changed my life in the best way possible. I have grown a strong love for all of the children in our youth group and I have made life-long connections with many of them. I am looking forward to every Sunday that I can help out at St. Marks UMC Youth and I am determined to volunteer as much as I can for as long as possible. This has sincerely taught me so much about myself and other people and I know I will never forget these experiences.