Being in Catholic school your whole life, like me, you learn that helping others is the core of being a good person. In grade school, every CYO team had to organize a service trip. It could be a food kitchen, helping someone with yard work or doing a food drive. Those experiences built the foundation for my love of helping others in need. At my high school, each grade required a different number of service hours. My freshman year I helped my older brother set up a haunted house for charity. The purpose was to require admission by bringing a canned good that would later be donated to a local food pantry.
The majority of my high school service hours were spent at my local Spring Valley YMCA with a program called Shooting Stars. This program was for special needs children who weren’t allowed to play sports in their local recreation leagues. Shooting Stars was an inclusive program for any special needs kid who just wanted to be apart of a team. Every Wednesday for an hour a crowd of these amazing kids would come in and light up the room. I was a volunteer coach and was in charge of a group of different kids each week, teaching them the fundamentals of the sport were practicing that week. The main goal was to teach all these kids about teamwork and that they could do anything they put their minds too. I always think back to my 3 years of volunteering there and appreciating every single person I helped.