Lessons from 53 Hours of Community Service…and More to Come

by Nida Rasheed a Greenheart Club Member and YES Student in Hawaii

It’s been three months since I have been in the United States of America, and I feel like life has changed for me! I never thought I could do the things I am doing while being on this exchange program, and I know, I still have a lot of things to do, learn, and achieve! COMMUNITY SERVICE is a term I was not very familiar with when I was in my own country Pakistan.  In America, I have discovered what a great thing community service is. How important it is for my country, and how the young people of my homeland need to realize the importance of their role as responsible citizens. So far, I have done 53 hours of community service! I have worked at different places like a recycling center for my school, and at a community art center. At the community art center I help clean and setup, also I helped kids at an art camp. I have volunteered for the Kona community hospital, helping with public library reading, and I am still looking for more chances.

I think it’s important for everyone of us to realize that while living in a certain community; we owe a lot to that community.  It’s our responsibility to work together for the betterment of our society. America is a great country for providing its youth with the chances of volunteering. As responsible citizens, it should be an obligation for us to share with people what we have through volunteering. Not necessarily sharing money or something materialistic, but KNOWLEDGE is the kind of wealth that is doubled every time you share it!

I strongly feel for the kids around the globe who are unable to get an education, which is the basic right of everyone. Everybody deserves to be educated, to explore what the world is all about, and to find their own place in this massive system. I am looking forward for more chances to do community service projects that would be related to helping kids in getting education. I have always wanted to become a doctor in life.  But from living in America, and my experiences with community service have given me a new thought, and a new dream for my life. This is to be able to start a community service project in my own country. The fact that many kids in my country are unable to get an education due to poverty disturbs me a lot. I want to create awareness about the idea of standing together against the serious problems of our society. I want to play a role in my community, as a responsible citizen. If I would be able to make education accessible to a few kids in my community, back in Pakistan, that would be the biggest accomplishment of my life. I am thankful to CCI, to the U.S Dept. of State, and most of all to my beloved parents, and all mighty God who made this year possible for me, and helped me in exploring a new side of myself.