As published in February 2019 Connections News.
Sophia Hashmey is a freshman at Issaquah High School and a member of the Highlands Youth (HY) Board since 2017. Besides her work with fellow HY members, Sophia did two individual projects for Highland Council, a spectacular splatter-paint rendering of Blakely Hall and a carry bag with lovely original drawing of Blakely Hall.
Volunteering is about giving back to the community what it has given to you. When you take the time to help others and bring people together, new and old, in the community, there is no feeling as rewarding. When I originally joined the Highlands Youth Board, I simply sought to complete my volunteer hours for my middle school. However, when I interacted with the people around my community, I felt important and connected. Volunteering has had a meaningful and positive impact on my community and my personal well-being.
Before joining the Youth Board, I was quite unhappy with my social standing. I felt the need to constantly be the best and drag through volunteer hours simply for the requirement. When I began volunteering at the Youth Board, it finally dawned upon me that the missing piece in my social life was the simple act of helping others and the joy of seeing an activity ending in success. My motives eventually changed, and I wanted not only to volunteer for personal opportunities, but also work so that the community could benefit from my contributions. The board itself is inviting, helpful, and incredibly hard working. With every event, I feel that the strength of our neighborhoods grows ever larger.
Volunteering teaches you the importance of positive actions and emotional support. The habit of reaching out to the people around you is a life skill that contributes to the happiness of the world. Volunteering not only improves the serenity of an entire community, but also provides you with work experience and social networking. Volunteering helped me realize what amazing accomplishments people can make when working together. I encourage everyone to contribute to volunteering no matter how small or large. The feeling you get from helping others is truly incredible.
“When I began volunteering at the Youth Board, it finally dawned upon me that the missing piece in my social life was the simple act of helping others and the joy of seeing an activity ending in success.”