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Volunteers present at Rotary Club

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Northview High School students (from left) Sierra Girton, Abby Wright and Andrea Schultz gave presentations on their Issues and Applications volunteer experience to the Brazil Rotary Club Wednesday. [Order this photo]
The Brazil Rotary Club met for its regular meeting Wednesday and heard presentations from Northview High School students Sierra Girton, Andrea Schultz and Abby Wright.

Girton, Schultz and Wright are all students in Joanna Connors' Issues and Applications class at Northview. The requirements for the class stipulate the students have to complete 48 hours of community service during the semester.

Each gave a presentation on the type of community service and volunteer work they've done over the semester.

Girton was the first to present. During the past semester, Girton has primarily volunteered at the Clay County YMCA and St. Vincent Clay Hospital. She also helped at the Popcorn Festival of Clay County and the Harvest Hoedown sponsored by the Clay County Community Foundation.

Girton said her primary goals for the course and her volunteer time were to give back to the community, make a difference in someone's life and get experience in her future career field of medicine.

At St. Vincent Clay, Girton worked in the medical/surgery, radiology and respiratory/cardio departments doing various jobs to assist the staff such as updating charts, organizing files, emptying and changing linens, cleaning equipment and making copies.

Girton said the opportunity helped her learn more about basic medical procedures and about the field of medicine itself.

Girton said she was happy the volunteer work she did at the hospital allowed her to assist the hospital staff and help them perform their jobs more effectively.

Additionally, Girton taught a 12-and-under girls' basketball team at the Clay County YMCA. A member of the Northview basketball team, Girton said her enthusiasm about the sport pushed her to volunteer to teach a team.

"I really didn't know how much work it would be," Girton said, "but it was a lot of fun. Teaching them has taught me leadership skills."

Next, Schultz gave her presentation. Schultz has spent her time volunteering this semester at the Clay County Humane shelter, at Northview's tutoring program and at the Big Brother Big Sister program at Meridian Elementary. Schultz also volunteered at the Popcorn Festival of Clay County and Harvest Hoedown.

"I wanted to gain a better understanding of what it means to volunteer and enhance my schedule," Schultz said.

At the Humane Shelter, Schultz walked and played with dogs, gave the animals food and replenished their water, cleaned cages and learned about how to help with special case animals.

"I didn't realize how much work goes into running the shelter," Schultz said. "It takes a lot of dedication."

While volunteering at Northview's tutoring program, Schultz learned how to have patience and use communication skills in working with students. She tutored in science, math, English, Spanish and French.

"We helped solved problems and made topics clear to understand," Schultz said. "We had to understand what we could use to help students learn."

Schultz has been volunteering at Big Brother Big Sister for more than two years. She has learned how to communicate with students and adults while giving her time to students through doing crafts, homework, projects, etc.

"I really connect with my little sister," Schultz said. "It feels good to know I'm changing a little girl's life just by being there for an hour."

Finally, Wright gave her presentation about the time she spent volunteering at the Northview tutoring program, the Clay County Humane Shelter, the Northview fall play, the Popcorn Festival and Harvest Hoedown.

"I wanted to become an active volunteer in my community," Wright said, "and gain a better understanding of the words teamwork and community service."

Wright said she also wanted to "give without expecting to receive."

Wright volunteered at the tutoring center by helping students with algebra, chemistry and physics.

At the humane shelter, Wright fed the animals, cleaned the cages and assisted the regular workers.

"I realized by walking and playing with the animals you can help turn their mood around," Wright said.

Finally, Wright was a volunteer with the Northview fall play. Wright assisted in putting up posters, setting up props, assisting with makeup, selling tickets and giving out programs.

"I realized that everyone who was a part of the process, even those who did small things like getting tape for the posters, were a part of making the play happen," Wright said.

Wright said her volunteer experiences have made her want to keep volunteering.

"Once you volunteer, you realize how fun it is and how much you want to keep volunteering in the community," Wright said. "You don't do it because you get paid or you'll get something out of it. The joy it brings you is enough."

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