This year I completed at least 35 hours of service to my community. Most of these hours happened through Interact Club: I worked 8 hours at the Freshman Garage Sale, 4 hours at Chalk it Up, 4 hours at the MLK March, 4 hours at the Holiday River Parade 3 hours planting trees and picking up trash at McAlister Park, and an hour helping prepare for Lee-esta even though the parade was rained out. Interact has lots of fun projects and I enjoy being involved in school and city events. In addition to this, I taught Sunday School at my church for the months of January and April for a total of 8 hours; I taught the 3 to 6-year -old class. The main reason I wanted to teach this class is so that my grandson and granddaughter would come with me. On Global Youth Service Day, I traveled to Ronald McDonald House with my advisory and we cooked and cleaned for 4 hours. I volunteered to help with the Lee Prom–for 3 hours I sat at the check-in table and highlighted the names of students when they came in and showed their tickets. During Fiesta, I always volunteer 2 hours at NIOSA in the crazy hat booth; all the money raised goes to the San Antonio Conservation Society to protect historic places in our city. In the fall, I helped with the German Exchange by taking teachers and students to places and events around the city so they could learn about America.
The essential question for the freshman year is, “Why do Globies do service?” I believe Globies do service because ISA aims to create Global Citizens. An important aspect of becoming a Global Citizen is contributing to your community. In fact, the Graduate Profile, a list of standards all ISA students are supposed to meet before graduating, says, at the top, “Students and teachers are asked to use their education to improve themselves, their school, and the local and global community.” In each subject-area section, there is a subdomain called “Take Action.” Globies don’t just learn about the world. They make it better. The things I have done this year in service to my community made the world better. The Freshman Garage Sale raised over $3200 for scholarship so every freshman could go to Heifer; since it was such a great learning experience, we wanted everyone to go. Helping at the prom allowed the attendees to avoid standing in a long line waiting to be admitted. The MLK March was a stand against racism. Chalk it Up was to support the Arts. The Holiday River Parade is a long-standing San Antonio tradition: I passed out programs and ushered people to their seats. Planting trees at the park helped fight Climate Change. Sunday School is a learning experience that transmits important values to the next generation of humans.
In summary, this year I performed a variety of service activities. The most impactful was my Interact Club service, because each of these activities was done in conjunction with other people: sometimes just a few, and other times more than a hundred. By joining together, individuals can have a greater impact than by only working alone. In fact, as the sponsor of Interact, I am mostly responsible for setting up all the projects for the club, or supervising the officers as they make plans. Almost 700 hours have been done by 156 people this year, and we still have our largest activity of the year, Relay for Life, in May. Sometimes the work we do seems inconsequential: passing out programs at a parade, but without people to do this, the sponsoring organizations would have to hire people and spend a lot of money. Usually when I do service, I get something out of it: this year I learned the proper way to plant a tree (with the root flare above ground level), and I got a free Chalk It Up T-shirt for volunteering. The best part of doing service with Interact, though, is the chance to get to know other people better and form stronger relationships. Next year, I will continue to sponsor Interact, perhaps teach more Sunday School, but I will probably not do another German Exchange because they only come in odd-numbered years.