I always felt I come from a very “volunteer-istic” family. When I was little, my mom was constantly volunteering to help at fun runs, work functions, community events; therefore my little brother and I were taken to EVERY event. All those events and opportunities to help others stuck with me. Now, as a 25-year-old, it’s my turn to pull my mom and younger brother with me to various volunteer opportunities. My brother teases me now and asks, “where am I being volun-told to go now?” haha but he has told me he loves helping where ever I am helping. This summer, I was excited to see I needed to complete 10 hours of community service because I enjoy it. My mind raced with various places and events I could help with. For my 10 hours I have spent my time talking with students about staying healthy, stopping the cycles of drug and alcohol abuse and being physically active.
I spent time with some young students from the Pueblo of Acoma during a Summer Youth Program to discuss what it means to live a healthy lifestyle, break the cycle of drugs and alcohol and continue to be proud Acoma children. I lead a discussion where I asked the students to share with me what it meant being a healthy Acoma person. Many of them replied no drugs, no alcohol, no hot cheetos, helping chop wood, chop weeds, speak our language (keres), run, play sports and eat fruits and veggies. Simple. Many of our people have someone in their family who suffer from alcoholism, drug abuse, diabetes, abuse and other health disparities; I felt it was important to also remind them how important they are to us as our future leaders who will take care of us when we are older. It was a really fun and reflective event. It made me step back and realize I am not the one simply receiving the advice; but as I receive the advice, I am also giving and passing on the advice; I am a growing leader.
Moreover, I helped with the San Felipe fun run and walk. It was such a beautiful Saturday morning and we had about 35 participants ranging from various ages. I helped let the runners and walkers know which direction they were going as well as being the positive encouragement on the sidelines. The people had so much fun and many of them remarked how much they enjoyed the morning, loved the course and I even had one lady who was so proud of herself for walking the mile because she hadn’t walked that far in a very long time. I praised her and told her we all have to start somewhere. For our runners, our first runner for the 5k came in at about 22 minutes and our last runners (8 year olds) came in at 48 minutes. I was so proud of everyone.
Lastly, I will have the chance to work with my fellow NB3 interns to host the Native American Summer Academy. In this program we will have various stations to have students learn more about golf, soccer and nutrition. I will be helping in the nutrition section and I am so excited. This event will occur on July 24th and I will post pictures as soon as we have it.
I enjoyed being able to do what I love while encouraging others to continue to lead healthy lifestyles. My volunteerism has been very rewarding for me this summer and I can’t wait until my next community service opportunities!
(More pictures to follow as I get a hold of them)