Chances are, you’ve already heard about what activism is. If you’re in a club or Honor Society through your school, you’ve been told how you need to put in service hours of giving back to the community. While it may seem like a chore if you’re in an organization, it is actually a rewarding experience that every girl can and should partake in.
Why Get Involved?
Before you say “but I’m already involved, I do hours for my organization”, hear us out. When you volunteer because you want to and not because you have to, it won’t feel like a drag. Stefanie Morales, a graduate of the University of Texas at El Paso, shares her joy of being involved. She volunteers at summer camps for teenagers with epilepsy out of wanting to change the community’s thinking about the disease. She says “I like that I have been able to change people’s way of thinking. I have made people more aware and helped stop the ignorance.”
Gladys Acosta, a high school Sophomore, gives back to the community as it is required of all students at her school. However, she doesn’t see it as a chore.
As a matter of fact, being active in her community is a joy for her. “It’s good to help the community out,” she says with a smile on her face.
Ugh, But it Sounds Boring
You’re young, you want to have fun, and volunteering doesn’t exactly sound as cool as going to the mall or talking about boys. We get it. However, Gladys says volunteering is totally worth it! She asks, “Why waste your time talking about boys or celebrities? Get involved, get people to help!”
Athena Matyear, an organizer and facilitator for La Mujer Obrera, an organization that seeks to empower womenand help them become economic assets for themselves and their communities, echoes the sentiments of Gladys. She feels it’s important that us girls in particular become active because “we are going through a period where more and more of our rights and our resources are being taken from us– think of the recent restrictions on abortion and women’s healthcare. Getting involved in organizing is one way to make sure you will still have your rights in the future.”
OK, Sign Me Up!
Getting involved doesn’t sound so lame now, does it? We thought you’d come around! Lucky for you getting involved is super easy. Athena suggests “know what issues you care about, [like] immigration reform, food access, education, etc.” Even if you don’t know right away what you want to get involved in, that’s ok. Take some time to reflect on what you’re passionate about, and then decide. You can’t go wrong because any cause is a worthy one! Then, you can ask people if they or someone they know are involved in organizations you’d be interested in. You can even look up organizations online! Check out http://greatnonprofits.org/?gclid=CKzOo7yp2LgCFevm7AodjW8AcA to find volunteer opportunities near you. You can type in the name of an organization you’re interested in or your zip code in the search bar, then the website will direct you to your ideal volunteering opportunity!
Volunteering is Awesome!
Volunteering is a great way to get involved in your community. You can work towards a common goal with other passionate people to create change you can see. Not to mention, it’s a lot more productive than talking about boys or walking around the mall. So what are you waiting for? Get out there, get involved, and make a difference!