The Issaquah Highlands is awesome. Be part of it.
Really, that’s what this entire volunteer of the month speech boils down to. Not because it’s cheesy, or cliché, or something I’m obligated to say, but because it’s true.
In 2005, when we first moved to the Issaquah Highlands, I was in 4th grade. Being a 4th grader was hard. Learning about math and grammar and history really does tire an eight-year-old out. Combine that with a new community where everyone knew each other and you had yourself a very intimidated kid who wanted to make friends and have a voice. I started exploring the community. Because that’s what community is: A place to make friends and, more importantly, connections with the world one lives in.
Now coming up on the 2014-2015 School year, at 17 years old, I’m going to the University of Washington. These past years have been a journey that I still plan to continue well into the future. Growing older with the Highlands, I did whatever I could to make sure that I had made a difference. I have been in the Highlands Soccer Club for nine years now, evolving from a player to a coach. I served as the Co-President of the HY, a growing teen voice for the community in its inaugural year. I involved myself in ways I didn’t think I was capable of: including being a DJ at HY events, a representative for HY for King 5 Evening Magazine, and donning a stretch suit for Grand Ridge Plaza. Specifically, the HY means so much as a communication device to and between the growing teen voices in our community. It’s an avenue to make a ton of friends and to be part of a bigger cause: A means through which I felt myself essential to the community.
4th grade me would be proud.
Belonging is a feeling that everyone is familiar with and, at some point, is a feeling that many strive for. I am so content and privileged that I was given the opportunity to be part of this community in such a big way. I think I speak for everyone when I say that, now, we always have a constant stream of things to take care of: For me, as a student, it was grades, being in clubs, volunteering in drives and after-school activities, sports, resumes, jobs, thinking about college, and hanging out with friends, among a myriad of other responsibilities. Volunteering in the community gave me solutions, connections, and experiences, while having a gigantic effect on the people around me. I’m happy to say, that I’m a resident as well as a participant in this community.
I think the Issaquah Highlands is well named, because whenever I’m here, I feel like I’m on top of the world.
September 2014, Connections News