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Word of the Week: Zealous

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Apr 17, 2017

Spring break is officially over but last week proved to be an unforgettable week off from school for our Youth Volunteers. Spring-Into-Service kicked off last Tuesday and the days that followed were enthralling, jam-packed with life lessons and infused with tools our youth could take away from the experience. 

During the span of three days, our Youth Volunteers spent their time with 3 different agencies and took part in spring cleaning, organizing, sorting, arts & crafts, educative games with the elderly community and numerous other tasks. We spent our week creating a team unit that relied on one another to get each job done efficiently and effectively. As our Youth Volunteers jumped at every assigned task with rigor and zeal, I sat back and basked in their tenacity.

Spring-Into-Service was created as a kick-start to Summer of Service for our Youth and providing them with an opportunity to service their community during spring break. At the end of the 3 days, we all sat down to reflect on our experience and what the underlying message was regarding service learning and why it is so important. The feedback from our youth came at the speed of light as they all began recounting their experience.

The zeal they displayed for the work that they did and why they are so proud of it made the experience even more unforgettable. The divulged their favorite team builders and why we must continue to incorporate building them up and continue making team work a fundamental part of our YVC programming. They also discussed how playing chess and learning about the lives of the elderly made them feel connected and in the moment as the age difference no longer mattered after a while.

As I rushed to get everything down in writing to make sure that their feedback is implemented, I couldn't help the permanent smile on my face as the realization came that not only does Youth Volunteer Corps change the lives of our Youth but it changes the lives of the Team Leaders as well. There is no better feeling than knowing that your youth just "get it". They understand they "why's" behind what we do and why it is so important that their voice is heard. For that reason, it reinforced the simple saying that goes a little something like this, "Zeal without knowledge is like fire without light."