Will Hedgecock has a new philosophy in life. “Wake up early on a Saturday, give four or five hours of service to your community, and be back by noon to lay out by the pool, and feel good about having helped out with the added bonus of knowing you’ve gotten at least two days’ worth of exercise under your belt!”
This 26-year-old achiever isn’t all about pool time, though. Working on his Ph. D. in Electrical Engineering at Vanderbilt, he is all about challenging himself to take on new adventures. In addition to loving the outdoors (he can often be found on a trail, riding a bike, or navigating a river in a canoe), Will is not afraid to experiment when it comes to choosing service projects on the HON Opportunity Calendar. “I’ve been very active within the organization, trying out various opportunities – some of which I knew I’d enjoy and some which were outside of my comfort zone,” says Will. From Urban Farm projects to helping with benefit concerts like the “Moograss” Festival, he’s excited to make a positive difference in the community.
Will encourages others looking to get involved to first start with some issue or place that has meaning to them. “I was excited to see a Radnor Lake volunteer day,” Will says. “This is a park several of my friends and I have visited many times, and I thought it’d be not only fun to help out there, but also to give back to a resource that I’ve had the opportunity to enjoy. Since then, I’ve found a number of Nashville non-profits that I really enjoy volunteering for that I never would have even known about without Hands On Nashville.”
Once you volunteer with something familiar, Will encourages you to “branch out and try something new. You just might find a hidden interest you never knew you had!”
“I’m definitely glad I started volunteering with HON, and I’m grateful for the experiences I’ve had with the organization so far. Looking forward to many more volunteer opportunities in the near future!”
Hear the school bells ringing, yet? Kids are jumping out of their socks ready for summer. If you listen closely enough, you might even hear the sounds of Alice Cooper’s “School’s Out for Summer” coming from your neighbor’s garage. And then, listen even closer. Wait a minute, that kid who just sang Florence and the Machine’s “Dog Days are Over” is the kid who attended Youth Empowerment through Arts & Humanities, Inc. (YEAH!)’s summer camp last year.
With a strong belief that artistic collaboration, expression, and performance empower youth to become creative, productive, and confident members of our community, YEAH! has stepped forward to offer music-focused opportunities for young people. YEAH! is a nonprofit that builds a creative community by providing experiences in the arts for young people ages 10 through 17. While being a part of a band is one component of its offerings, YEAH! provides opportunities for young people to experience ALL areas of the arts, including dance and visual arts.
YEAH! volunteers are a critical component of the organization’s success. And who wouldn’t want to volunteer? From helping manage “The Band” to being a “roadie,” YEAH! has the perfect fit for your talents THIS summer at Southern Girls Rock and Roll Camp July 23-28,2012. The most exciting part of camp week is the opportunity for campers to form their own band and collaborate on a song to perform during a showcase at the end of the week. With the support of dozens of amazing volunteers and local sponsors, Southern Girls Rock & Roll Camp and Tennessee Teen Rock Camp continue to develop new ways for campers to develop self confidence along with musical skills. “After attending the 3rd annual SGRRC Showcase, I was very impressed,” says Kelli Morris, the parent of an SGRRC camper and YEAH! volunteer. “In addition to signing my daughter up as a camper, I volunteered, too, because I thought what they were doing for and with young girls was incredible.”
If we haven’t convinced you, take a look at this incredible video: