Guest Post by Emily McAndrew,
HON VolunTEEN Summer Youth Leader
Emily McAndrew, a rising junior at Merrol Hyde Magnet School, wanted to be a Summer Youth Leader so that she could learn how to be a better leader while helping others. Emily chose to focus on hunger because she wants to teach youth that the issue is not just something that exists in developing countries.
When volunteering, if you aren’t working directly with the person or people you are helping, it can be difficult to fully grasp the impact of your efforts.
While organizing food in the freezing coolers of the Second Harvest Food Bank as an HON Summer Youth Leader, I did not realize how much my work and the work of my fellow volunteers truly meant until I got to work at the East Nashville Cooperative Ministry (ENCM), a recipient of food donations from Second Harvest.
ENCM’s mission is to improve health and welfare of the residents of the East Nashville community. They do this by offering healthy meals, food, and other necessities to people in the area. The ministry is one of two recipients of Second Harvest that do not accept cakes or dessert items.
My group has helped in the garden and has cooked for the clients of ENCM. My favorite part of the projects was to help cook. The food that is cooked is a combination of produce from the garden and donated items from Second Harvest. It is so cool to think that the food I was preparing one day could have been the same food that I was organizing the day before! What I have learned from my experiences so far as a Summer Youth Leader is that volunteering always has an impact on someone, whatever the task may be. I urge everyone in the community to volunteer and make their own impact.
Guest post by Ferriss Bailey, HON VolunTEEN Summer Youth Leader
Ferriss Bailey, a rising senior at Montgomery Bell Academy, is one of the four inaugural Summer Youth Leaders. During the four summer service weeks, Ferriss leads service learning opportunities that address the environment.
Prior to joining the Summer Youth Leader Program at Hands On Nashville, I had been a regular at service projects through my school, but I did not have many chances to lead my peers in those endeavors.
This program, organized by Colleen Callaghan and Lauren Levy, has given me an opportunity to take the lead on projects about which I am passionate. I can never repay Hands On Nashville for giving me this opportunity and for teaching me how to be a better peer leader.
Leading a project entails many different responsibilities and duties. Personally, I think that the most important task is to get the group working together as a team. No project is ever exactly the same, even if we are all doing the same work. There may be a group of twenty thirteen year-olds or just four high school seniors. What does not change from project to project is the importance of teamwork. Without teamwork, the projects can seem daunting and discouraging, and it always takes more effort and time. As I have gotten better at instilling a sense of teamwork, groups have been able to get more work done while having a great time as well.
We are so excited to introduce our truly amazing 2013 Urban Farm Apprentices, who have been training and working diligently to make the future of our communities brighter, one step at a time. All 15 Apprentices have gone through a rigorous application and interview process and weeks of training to become the rock stars they are today.
Without any further ado, read on to learn more about each of these awesome young people!
2013 Urban Farm Apprentices (in alphabetic order):
Amina is a rising sophomore at McGavock High School. She loves food and enjoys being around others. She also loves being in the outdoors and is good at helping people.
Carson is a rising junior at University School of Nashville. She is a scholastic-winning author and budding environmentalist.
Chloe is a rising senior at MLK. She loves listening to music and also enjoys ballet and meeting new people.
Daniel is a rising senior at MLK. He enjoys backpacking and whitewater rafting. He is interested in pursuing a degree in agriculture business.
Emily attends Hume-Fogg High School, where she is a member of the GSA and the Fighting Disease Club. She served as co-captain of her school’s swim team and she enjoys making art.
Emma is a rising junior at MLK. She is an avid gardener, aspiring writer, and LGBT rights activist.
Farhiya is a rising sophomore at Hillwood High School. She enjoys reading books and getting to know new people.
Hayden is a rising senior atHume-Fogg. He loves running and juggling and is excited to work at the Urban Farm this summer. Hayden enjoys working outside and hanging out with other kids.
Jazmin just graduated from Glencliff High School. She wants to do nonprofit and leadership work, and loves to volunteer.
Katherine is a senior at Hume-Fogg Academic and is an event organizer for her Environmental Action Club. She is passionate about music, cooking, books, nature, and helping others. Katherine aspires to be a sustainable systems designer on a city-scale.
Lydea is a sophomore at Nashville School of the Arts, where she enjoys playing the cello and going to English class. Her favorite hobbies include reading books and ‘fangirling’ over Benedict Cumberbatch (go Sherlock!).
Maria attends Glencliff High School and is a rising senior. She is passionate about helping others and aspires to become a pediatrician. She also loves soccer and watermelon!
Nancy is a rising sophomore at MLK. She enjoys playing soccer and volleyball in the summer with her church. She also plays ping-pong and has played the piano and clarinet. Nancy enjoys volunteering and reading books in her free time.
Rachel is a rising senior at Nashville School of the Arts. She enjoys painting and is president of the National Art Honors Society. She loves to work out and stay healthy while maintaining a positive attitude and encouraging others.
Terrell is a rising senior at Glencliff and describes himself as an Afrocentrist. He is plenty of things, one of which is an athlete. He runs or bikes to the Urban Farm every day.
Young people are a big part of the volunteer movement here in Nashville. They bring a fresh perspective, endless energy, and a “why not?” attitude to many of Middle Tennessee’s most pressing issues. (To see some of this energy in action, take a look at these photos of this week’s Hands On Spring Break.)
In the spirit of this month’s Global Youth Service Day Presented by Starbucks, when Nashville youth will join millions of other teens around the world in a day of powerful volunteerism, we bring to you April’s Volunteer Leader feature: Tiannan Zhou, a sophomore at Hume Fogg.
Ask her how she came to serve as the HON Volunteer Leader at Backfield in Motion’s Saturday school, and the answer is quite simple: curiosity. “I had never volunteered before, and I really wanted to try something new,” she says. Plus, she’d heard from friends who had volunteered before that it was fun, so she decided to jump in.
Each Saturday, you can find Tiannan and other teen volunteers working on math and reading with the inner-city boys served by Backfield in Motion. While Tiannan has helped the boys with multiplication and addition, she’s been surprised to find that she’s learned some good things from them, too. “Attitude is often the most important thing. A smiling face and readiness to learn is what matters the most,” she says.