As the next generation of Hands4Hope participants continue to make an impact on our community through their hard work and dedication, it’s important to look back at the previous generation, the ones who helped establish a foundation for all of us to build off of. Today, I’d like to turn our spotlight to one Aidan Campbell, an alumni of great renown, who joined Hands4Hope in high school and continues to get involved in his community years later. - Jacob Bassett
What grade and school were you in when you joined Hands4Hope - Youth Making A Difference? How long were you involved? Which clubs or committees or community engagement outreaches were you involved in? Please indicate if you held any leadership positions.
I first joined Hands4Hope when I was a 9th grade student attending Oak Ridge High School. I was involved in Hands4Hope throughout high school, and I still enjoy volunteering at Hands4Hope when I am back in the greater Sacramento area! Most recently, I volunteered at the GVCC Common Ground Saturday Cafe.
I was involved in the Oak Ridge High School Hands4Hope Club and served on the Youth Board. In 2019, I was thrilled to have the opportunity to be the youth intern for the Kids Zone Committee, as well as the Marketing & Fundraising Chair for the Fall Festival Committee.
How did you hear about Hands4Hope - Youth Making A Difference? What motivated you to join?
I heard about Hands4Hope through a few of my friends who had been involved with Hands4Hope previously. They really seemed to have enjoyed their experiences with Hands4Hope. I wanted to meet new people and learn more about the service initiatives within Hands4Hope and actively participate in them, so I thought it would be a great idea to join the Oak Ridge High School Hands4Hope Odd (Inspire) Club.
Reflect on the experiences you have with Hands4Hope - Youth Making A Difference that have shaped you into the person you are today compared to when you first joined. How has Hands4Hope helped you in school, with your friends and family, and in life?
To me, Hands4Hope represents an amazing network of people who are collaborative, inclusive, dedicated to service, and very willing to help empower youth to become responsible leaders within their communities.
When I first joined Hands4Hope, I was shy and I had not had many leadership experiences in the past. From being a part of the Hands4Hope community, I became inspired to make a greater positive impact in my community than I had before. I also learned, especially after taking a more active role in committees, about how to develop better social and organizational skills, which has helped me to establish more meaningful and rewarding relationships with other people in many different situations, including with other people at school, with my friends and family, and in life as a whole.
From learning how to fundraise for events, becoming more knowledgeable about how to be an active and organized participant on a project-planning team, or even better, appreciating the value of participating in service projects that are designed to enhance the lives of others in the community, I truly believe that Hands4Hope has helped me to become a more thoughtful and a more passionate youth and now young adult.
What value do you think Hands4Hope - Youth Making A Difference adds to the community?
I think that Hands4Hope - Youth Making a Difference adds incredible value to the community. Having been a part of many Hands4Hope service initiatives and social engagement events in the past, I have been inspired by how many people the Hands4Hope community has helped and how many smiles I have seen on peoples’ faces not only among Hands4Hope volunteers, but also among everyone who attended these initiatives and events.
I also think it is quite remarkable how the Hands4Hope community prioritizes meaningful impact through outreach, such as by providing food to people who are food insecure, preparing and having dinner with senior citizens, and throwing birthday parties for low-income children, and positive youth development simultaneously.
Ultimately, I think that Hands4Hope does a fantastic job of helping to inspire young people to become leaders with good communication, problem-solving, and collaborative abilities, as well as helping to make service initiatives exciting!
What can you tell us about the Hands4Hope - Youth Making A Difference Alumni Association Committee, your role with it, and what you are most excited about?
The Hands4Hope - Youth Making a Difference Alumni Association Committee is a new committee within Hands4Hope that has a goal of building a stronger sense of community among the Hands4Hope alumni network. This will involve planning initiatives and events that feature the current activities of Hands4Hope alumni, as well as giving alumni the opportunity to organize these initiatives and events. Currently, I am the Chair of the committee. I am very excited about collaborating with a group of wonderful people on the committee to organize these activities that we hope that alumni would enjoy participating in. We feel that this is an additional aspect of the Hands4Hope experience that could be of interest to alumni of all backgrounds, as well as provide a greater chance for youth who are becoming alumni in the near future to continue to stay involved and connected with Hands4Hope through this group.
If you are interested in getting involved with or learning more about the Alumni Association Committee, please fill out our interest survey here: Hands4Hope Alumni Association Interest Survey
What are your current personal and professional goals in life? Do you feel that Hands4Hope - Youth Making A Difference helped you prepare for those in any way?
Being involved in Hands4Hope has instilled in me the desire to make a positive difference in my community wherever I may be in life. Currently, as a third-year university student at New York University, I am trying to make a positive impact within my community, including at school, using skills that I, in part, developed while being involved with Hands4Hope… Presently, I am also preparing to pursue a career in the medical field. I think that being involved in Hands4Hope absolutely prepared me to be in a better position to achieve success in these roles/pursuits thus far by helping me to be a more effective communicator and a more thoughtful collaborator not only in the classroom, but also when working within teams. Also, I believe that having been involved in event planning at Hands4Hope helped me to develop better time management skills, which have been invaluable to life as a busy college student.
Do you have any plans to be involved in community service in the future?
Having had a remarkable experience with Hands4Hope in the past, I have truthfully developed a passion for being involved in the community through service initiatives. I plan to continue to be involved in service roles at school, in my community, and to volunteer through Hands4Hope when I am back in the greater Sacramento area!
Is there anything else that you would like to add about your experience with Hands4Hope - Youth Making A Difference?
I would like to add that I am very thankful to have gotten involved with Hands4Hope, as even though I was initially quite reserved, I was able to form a stronger social network, develop as a person, and enjoy being involved in the community.
I think that for people who are on the fence about whether to get involved with Hands4Hope, I would recommend that they try joining a Hands4Hope club or committee! I, as well as many other people I know, had a very fun time being involved with Hands4Hope, all while developing skills that can be very beneficial in real-world scenarios!