Ariel Green was awarded second place and a $100 prize for her submission to the 2017 Alumni Story Contest. Green served as a youth volunteer with YVC of Baton Rouge from 2012 to 2013.
Read her story submission and see how YVC changed her life below.
Here at YVC I participated in many projects. There are three projects I recall that were most memorable. My first project as a volunteer consisted of putting together military care packages. Other volunteers and I were stationed at a warehouse with lots of supplies. The warehouse was stocked with items like toiletries, snacks, and words of encouragement. I was responsible for packing the female bags with a variety of each necessity. This project was memorable and exciting because I was challenged to think on behalf of someone else’s need. I worked hard and made sure each box was packaged with care and the best items were selected.
The next project that was most memorable was Christmas wrapping. Christmas is my favorite time of the year. It is filled with joy, love, and the gift of giving. I was able to participate in the project of gift wrapping for children ages 5-18. It was very fun picking out gifts and giving back to those who are less fortunate. I envisioned smiles on the youth faces and served with a heart of love. This project made me feel most grateful; it was pleasing to be a blessing to someone else. I also realized how blessed I was.
The last project I recount serving with YVC was donating books to a local library. During this time I sorted out new and gently used books that were being donated to a new library in the community. Being able to be a part of the set up process for a new library was a great experience. I organized a variety of genres for readers. Although it was tedious, it was all for a benefiting cause. Working to build another library in the community was definitely a need. Because of this, students will now have access to more resources and the establishment of this library will help eliminate educational barriers.
My time with YVC has been very enlightening. Since my time in high school, I have grown and matured a lot. I realize the importance of volunteering. Before YVC I had no desire to volunteer. After each project I participated in came a moment of reflection and appreciation. I was able to meet new people, work with others, and learn more about myself during the different projects. The organization has influenced me to always pay attention to the needs in my local community, work to alleviate problems within the community, and give back.
I aspire to one day have my own community organization that will work to empower and educate women from all walks of life across the nation. I plan to have yearly conferences, workshops, and community drives that will help them continue to reach their goal of success. With my organization I also plan to implement events that will give them and others the opportunity to volunteer.
As a future Social Worker, my job is to advocate for resources and services in the community while helping families and individuals continue to function in society. Volunteering was the start of social work for me. My passion for others has lead me to always work hard so I can one day be the best social worker and make the world a better place. As I continue to seek wisdom and grow, I know that because of organizations like Youth Volunteer Corps, a special seed was planted in my heart. YVC has brought out some of the best skills in me like leadership, and has inspired me to serve. The foundation, people, and experience impacted my life and I will forever serve others in my community.