When I first arrived at YVC summit I was greeted by some of the most energetic, positive people that I’ve ever met. The team leaders, adults, and all the volunteers were super welcoming and helpful. Summit embodied the true meaning of YVC perfectly and helped show me what volunteering is all about. Before going to YVC summit I loved to volunteer and I figured it would be something I would always try to do, but after going to Summit I realized the true importance of volunteers and I was inspired to work even harder with my YVC program and other volunteer projects in my community when I went home.

 

A YVC project has an icebreaker, a volunteer project, and the service learning aspect. Summit incorporated all three of these elements.
There were people from different cities, backgrounds, ethnicities, races, and socioeconomic statuses all coming together in a conference center in Kansas City. At first, I felt like we were all super different, it was one of the most diverse rooms I’ve ever been in; but then, I realized that being a part of YVC and having a passion for volunteering is what truly unified us. Through icebreakers and games, everyone was able to get more comfortable around each other and get to know one another. Summit offered a lot of free time where we were able to spend time with other volunteers and go out around the city which was really fun! It was eye-opening to meet so many different people and hear their stories.

 

Summit had service projects incorporated into the event and we were able to volunteer in the community. The cool thing about volunteering at Summit is that you get to learn about a different community’s needs rather than your own. It was a cool experience because I live in a pretty small town, so to go to a bigger city and volunteer showed how me how needs can be very different based on the location.

 

There were lots of opportunities for service learning spread throughout Summit that were educational and engaging. There were different lectures, lessons, and workshops to get youth volunteers learning! It was super cool how the lectures and lessons were applicable and relevant to our own lives. I went to a grant writing workshop and I learned how to appeal to different businesses. When I returned home I was able to use the knowledge to get sponsorships for an event my school put on! There were lots of really talented speakers at Summit, including youth. It was really meaningful to see so many people speak so passionately.

 

The YVC Summit has been one of the most memorable things I have ever done. Getting to meet so many amazing people who all share a common passion isn’t an opportunity youth can frequently find. Anyone affiliated with YVC in any way would benefit by going to Summit to further their love for volunteering.

 

Jessica Hovermale is an active youth volunteer with YVC of Corvallis

and has served on her local Youth Advisory Board for two years.

Jessica is an active member of YVC’s International Youth Advisory Board.