Sacred Heart Youth Group
If somebody asked me to explain one decision that shaped me as a person, I would have to tell him or her it would have been joining the Sacred Heart Youth Group. I wasn’t to keen on joining right at first. My mom had been harping on me for the whole summer saying how “it would make me a better person”. At first I thought it would just be a bunch of church lovers who say prayers all night, and I did not want people to think I was a nerd or something, but I went. I was wrong, after going there for a couple of Monday nights, I soon found out that it was nothing like I had ever imagined. Arriving there and eating pizza while going over announcements was just to get people talking. After that, we would try and plan our next act of community service we were going to commit.
I felt the same way about community service as I did joining the youth group. Looking back now I believe I was scared to try new things. With my mom pushing me one November morning I braved the frigid air and helped distribute food for the local food pantry. That single experience changed my view of people forever. After that cold morning all I wanted to do was help others. That next Monday at our meeting, I told Anna how it had changed the way I wanted to peruse my life and asked her if I could sign up for any more activates. She gave me a list of community service events that were coming up, and so I signed up for most of them. Still hundreds of hours later, I still love helping out others, and the biggest thing I learned from performing those duties is that they are fun. Most people view community as boring and something they are forced to do, as where I look forward to doing it, and making other people smile.
The other biggest thing I look away from our youth group is being a leader. When I first arrived there, I was shy and didn’t want to talk much, but after a couple weeks I loosened up. Once Anna got to know me more, she started asking me to start up and lead discussions about anything I wanted to. With my success that I had with that, she asked me to be one of the seven leaders at our first SMASH Retreat as Casowasco retreat center. I agreed and from there on out the next ten months was strictly planning. When the retreat finally arrived, I was assigned to look over six youth. My duties were to make sure they are having a fun time, as well as lead them in every activity that was to be done. I loved it. Being able to help people enrich their faith really touched me and helped make me who I am today.
Looking at me, most think I am a regular boy who plays sports and does well in school, but what they do not see, is all the things that go into me being myself. Just from joining one little club, out of hundreds I could choose from completely changed my life. It wasn’t one single event that changed it, but the exposure to helping others through community service, and leading others through the same experience are traits and qualities that will forever be with me.