The Value of Volunteering in Your Community
- Every school day in the United States, 7,000 students drop out of school.
- 80% of first time drug, alcohol, or tobacco use happens between the ages of 10 – 14, and between the hours of 3:00pm to 6:00pm.
- 85% of all juvenile crime takes place between 2:00pm and 7:00pm.
“When I first heard these statistics, it hit me like a knockout punch. I am mostly privately educated with the exception of my time in public high school. It was never a question of whether I would graduate high school or even college. Drugs, pre-marital sex and juvenile crime were certainly doors that I hadn’t considered though many of my peers did. I always dismissed this experimentation as a phase and as something other kids did. But as I sat at eighteen, fresh out of high school in a classroom with a group of friends, these sobering statistics reminded me not of my friends and peers who had indulged and paid the steep consequences, but of two middle school little girls that I love dearly: my sisters. As six and eighth graders in a public school world, my sisters face these things everyday, though they certainly have more advantages than most.
Every time one of the Head Coaches talks about middle schoolers and how they are falling through the cracks, I picture the faces of my sisters. I didn’t know quite what I signed up for when I agreed to an interview as a Five Star Coach almost three years ago, but it has been one of the most impactful and meaningful decisions I have ever made.
See, at Five Star, we proactively challenge our students to own their academic success, we instill character values, help foster potential and offer opportunities for students to practice all they have learned. I have seen so many students’ lives changed by the passion and love of their coaches simply showing up every week for two hours and being fully present. For me, I have mentioned how joining Five Star has been one of my best decisions to date. That begins to scratch the surface of how much my life has been irrevocably altered by this community. Three years ago, I was a freshman in college. I was so far home, from my community and from everything I knew and thrived in for so long. As I mentored, encouraged and spoke life into middle school students, the same was being done to me. This overwhelming love and acceptance shed a few of my lingering insecurities and cast away many of my fears, especially that of heights. Thanks again for challenging me to do the ropes course and failing to mention that challenge was coming ahead of time!
What’s the take home piece for you? Get involved in your community. Cultivate intention, empathy, humility and hospitality within and slosh out love and grace to those who come in to contact with you. Be willing to give, to serve, and to sacrifice. If you want to see change in your life and in your community, be active, not passive.”
The above is a small excerpt from Five Star Life’s very own Coach Lydia. Coach Lydia, thank you for your commitment to Five Star Life! We are so grateful to have you instilling character values into Five Star Life students week after week through the afterschool program. Your commitment and dedication to making a difference in your community is evident and we appreciate all that you do.
Want to get involved and make a difference? It’s SO easy! To become a Five Star Life Coach, or to learn other ways to volunteer your time, please fill out a Volunteer Application on our website, www.fivestarlife.org. In addition, if you have a Five Star Life story to share, go to https://www.fivestarlife.org/share-your-five-star-story/. Your story could be featured in an upcoming blog post!