The Schuler Program equips bright, motivated youth with the support they need to gain access to and succeed at highly selective colleges and beyond. Writing from thirteen schools located in the greater Chicago area in Lake and Cook Counties of Illinois, scholars reflect on their academic experiences, cultural exposures, college applications processes, and more.
Giving What I Can: Volunteering as a High School Student
by Jessica Rodriguez, Warren Township High School, Class of 2016
Jessica running the ring toss game at the Fun Fair
I recently had the chance to
volunteer at Grayslake Cooperative Nursery School for their Fall Family Fun
Fair. I received an email from my Scholar Coach telling me about the event,
where the preschoolers could come and have a good time and the school would
benefit by raising money. I was so excited to work with kids around that age
because I’ve babysat kids one to three years old before and I’ve always had
When I got there, I was
immediately assigned a game to run and prizes to give away. I ran the ring toss
game right in front of the building and handed out temporary tattoos to all the
little kids who played. They would come up to me and ask to play, and then I
would give them a ring to get into the stands. A fellow Scholar ran the bowling
game next to me and it was adorable to see the kids play her game too! We
shared the tattoos we gave away as prizes and even ended up putting the tattoos
on ourselves to look more welcoming.
There were also many other
games like bean bag tic-tac-toe, bag toss, knock out (where there were stacked
cans and you had to knock them over with a bean bag) and my favorite: the life-sized
Candyland. Some Scholars sold hotdogs and popcorn, and some ran the table with
all the delicious treats. There was also a woman that made balloons into
animals, cartoons, hats, and more. It was so much fun even though the weather
decided to go from hot to cold to windy and back again.
Every single kid there was so
polite and always said thank you. They made me laugh and smile nonstop! It made
me feel good that I got to be there with them to help raise money for the
school, and I know the kids had a great time too. At the end of the fair, all
the kids went home happy and we helped clean up the games. The woman that ran
the event was grateful to us for volunteering, and as a thank you she let me
and the other Scholars take home a treat!
Volunteering at the Fun Fair
felt really good because I was giving back to my community. When you’re a high
school student it can sometimes seem like you don’t have a lot of resources
that you can give to your community, but I learned that this is not the case. I’m
a busy student, so I may not be able to help out my community all the time, but
I can give a few hours on a Saturday. During the time I spent at the Fun Fair,
I saw how I was able to make the kids laugh and have a good time which really
made me feel like I was helping out the school. Now, I want to keep
volunteering and keep helping out in any way I can.