Jayden Mortimore – HSA Scholarship Winner Essay

Community Service Experiences

I am a senior in high school, and I have been homeschooled for seven years. Throughout the years, I have done several community service acts to give back to the community.

I served in my church nursery, and Sunday school for about 5 years. I helped with activities, crafts, snack time, and cleanup. I also volunteered for the special needs VBS for 5 years as well.

During my Taekwondo training, I spent time helping and leading younger belt students with their forms, kicking and punching techniques, and I also helped run our summer camps. Working with the younger students was challenging at times but very rewarding when I saw them progress because of what I taught them.

Volunteering at the USO Northwest at SeaTac airport gave me a new perspective of how much our service people move around and how it affects their families.  Once there was a family moving from Korea back to the United States.  The family had a dog with them but when they arrived in the US they found that they could not take it with them to their new housing.  The family was devastated.  My family volunteered to take in the dog until they could find housing that would allow them to have their dog.  Experiences like this motivate me to continue helping in my community.

My 4-H club tries to do community service projects once a month.  These projects are sometimes small and other times quite large.  We have cleaned barns for people who were unable, due to health issues. We scraped paint off an old church and primed and painted it to ready it for the winter months. One of the most personal projects I participated in was to redo the goat barns at the Pierce County Fairgrounds at Frontier Park in Graham, WA. We redid the goat barn floorings, removed old gravel and dirt, put down fresh gravel, and installed stall mats, to help decrease the amount of dirt and dust.  This project was close to my heart because it directly impacted how all our animals would be housed during the fair.

Girl Scouts has been part of my life since I was five years old.  During my time in Girl Scouts, I participated in multiple community service projects such as making pillowcases for a children’s hospital, food drives, and a blankets/towels/sheets drive for a local animal shelter.  During my time in Girl Scouts, I have helped younger troops with their meetings and planning service projects which gave me a different perspective on what it means to be a Girl Scout.

All of my experiences working with different community groups have taught me valuable lessons and helped me build life skills such as patience, multitasking, time management, and responsibility.   I am fortunate that I have had the time and flexibility as a homeschool student to participate in all these groups and projects.