What is your school and grade? How long have you been involved with Hands4Hope - Youth Making A Difference?
I am in 8th grade at Camerado Springs Middle School. I have been involved in Hands4Hope since 6th grade.
Why did you get involved with Hands4Hope - Youth Making A Difference & how did you hear about it?
Even before I found out about Hands4Hope, I wanted to help make a difference in the community. I heard about Hands4Hope through a school event and thought it would be the perfect opportunity to do so. When I signed up, I wanted to be involved in something in which other people felt the same about making a difference for other people and that’s exactly what I found!
How has Hands4Hope - Youth Making A Difference helped you in school, with your friends and family, and in life?
Hands4Hope has helped me in school, with my family and friends and in life because I have learned many important skills for me to be successful. Prior to Hands4Hope, I always liked to think for the entire group, planning things my own way. When I became a leader for my school club, I learned that I had to change my perspective. I learned it’s important for everyone to be included and get their own say in the decisions that are made. Another thing I have learned from Hands4Hope is to come out of my shell, talking to groups of people. I have always been shy, so when I was given the chance to be a leader, I was reluctant, given the fact I would have to talk in front of and to groups of people. Ever since the beginning of this school year, our club has been meeting in person. This has given me the chance to work on my shyness and I now feel comfortable talking to those groups.
What has your experience been like since joining?
My experience with Hands4Hope ever since I joined has been great! All of the adult mentors and high school leaders I have met and worked with have been very nice and fun to be around. I have helped with two school projects and both of the organizations and the people there have been super friendly and very appreciative of the donations we have provided.
Is there anything else that you would like to add about your experiences with Hands4Hope?
Being a leader in a Hands4Hope school club has been a very positive experience for me and something I hope younger club participants will want to be a part of as well. When I was in 6th grade, I remember listening and watching the club leaders run the meetings. I thought of how well organized and leader-like they seemed. In 7th grade when I joined the leadership team, I didn’t realize how much time, involvement and commitment was needed in order for the meetings to run smoothly - it just didn’t seem like that at first glance. Over time, I realized that I liked to contribute to the leader meetings because of my organization and how it could benefit the rest of the group.
Of the two projects I have worked on with Hands4Hope, my favorite would be our project last year - raising money by selling homemade masks to benefit the El Dorado County German Shepherd Rescue. Our club only had seven members, which is a small number, but we managed to raise $682. It was super fun, working with a smaller group, because everyone had more time to share their opinions. At the end of the day, I think it is amazing that I get to help make a difference in someone’s life - whether it is an animal or person. I hope to continue this work with Hands4Hope throughout high school and further on because having an impact with the community is meaningful to me. I encourage everyone to join Hands4Hope because it is really something special.