(Click here for my first blog post. (Every Animal Deserves a Home) Click here for my second blog post. (Every Animal Deserves a Home... Part 2.)
For my Agent of Change part in my You and the World service project, I have been volunteering at animal shelter for 7 months now. I started in early November, and have been going as often as I can. Overall, it’s been an absolutely inspiring project, and without having this due for English class, I don’t think I would’ve gotten into it so easily! Helping people is one thing, because you can communicate and encourage them to improve themselves and the community, but helping animals is another thing, because they can’t speak our language, and don’t have anyone to speak up for them. Through this project, I have learned so much and have been able to say that I’ve been making a difference in the world, one animal at a time.
To begin, I had to take an orientation session at Operation Ava, the shelter where I have been volunteering. They helped you get to know the ropes, and know exactly what you have to do, and where everything is. After that, you were free to go to the shelter as you pleased, walking dogs whenever you could manage, and playing with cats. I began by walking dogs in the yard, so you could get a feel for the dog, and understand how to hold the leash, etc. After a while, I could walk them out on the street and through the park. I started playing with cats as well. The cats were really adorable. I was petting one cat named Brody, and then leaned down to pet Soza, and before I knew it, Brody was on my back and licking my neck. I also washed and groomed lots of dogs. It’s strange when you wash the first one. There’s a huge sink, large enough to fit a pitbull, and there’s a hose connected to the top. Most of the dogs liked getting cleaned, but some didn’t like it, and I got all wet.
This project has had an extremely huge impact on me. I realize that through just coming to the shelter, the people there are so nice. They have since then inspired me to be more outgoing. Being in front of people, or with new people has been really hard for me, but by taking the opportunity to help animals, I’ve also been helping myself. I have definitely seen the difference, and I’ve been saying as much as I can to new people.
So far, I haven’t encountered any problems besides the fact that I can’t go and volunteer everyday! I have ice hockey four times a week, now that the season is over, so it’s been a little difficult to squeeze in the volunteering, but I’ve managed so far.
I feel like I’ve also inspired other people, because when I tell people about how I volunteer at an animal shelter, they might want to get themselves to go and volunteer as well.
In the community, I see myself as a female teen that people may be bias towards. I know that through my experience, teens have many stereotypes, such as being lazy, listening to loud headphones all day, being rude, and not caring about school or the people/things around them. I hope that through this project, people will be able to have a more open-minded view on teens, and realize that the stereotypes are not all true, and that we can be whatever we want to be. I know that I’m still learning, and that nobody is perfect, but through this project, I have been striving to be a better person. I’ve usually been a follower, depending upon the group of people I’m with, but since I started volunteering, I’ve realized a definite change in my schoolwork. I’ve been taking more of a leadership role, and I feel that I’m becoming someone that represents Science Leadership Academy better.
I’m going to take this newfound courage and leadership, and use it to make a better community for everyone. I think that I have already started subconsciously, becuase I’ve been taking a leadership role in school already!
Please click here for my bibliography.
I hope you take the time to watch my video showing the shelter, dogs and cats, and featuring a few brief interviews that were done with the Operation Ava family. Please like, subscribe, or share with your friends! Operation Ava said they might even be able to feature my video on their site, so please like and share! It will also be passed along to the founders and their mother by the director of Operation Ava!To watch an amazing video, please click this sentence. Thank you!
Sade Lawal holds Pompom, one of the dogs featured in my video.