AYA student Leonie from Germany has just completed a personal goal that she set for herself for the year: to complete 100 hours of volunteer work! Read on to learn more about her challenge and the lessons she learned along the way.
“My name is Leonie and I’m a German exchange student living in America and going to an American High School in Virginia. During my school year (2017/18), I got to try many different things I never could never have experienced in my home country. Being a CORE student, I am only required to volunteer 10 hours over the whole year. Nevertheless, getting 10 hours is easy, so I wanted to challenge myself and set for myself a higher goal: I wanted to accomplish 100 volunteer hours.
Volunteering at my host mom’s second job, Wine&Design, gave me the opportunity to learn more about painting, different techniques, and art. I had a blast meeting so many people at every class, talking to them, and seeing their excitement when my host mom would introduce me as her foreign exchange student daughter from Germany. Furthermore, I got to improve my creative side and help painting the set for my school’s spring musical. This especially got me more involved into my school and helped me to meet students who became great friends of mine. I got to see how just a few people could build a castle as big as the whole stage. Another event I volunteered at earned me a free ticket to an amusement park where we had planned a trip to that would’ve been expensive to pay for. Also, I helped teachers at my school with grading, which I’ve always loved. It showed me how my teachers grade work and what they expect and look for, and I would get advice and insiders’ information about my school.
Volunteering got me to experience many ‘first times.’ Doing thing I’ve never done before improved my feeling for responsibility and helped me to meet many people. Out of all the things I’ve experienced this year, I am most proud to show the certificate I got and say that I’ve reached my goal.”
How can you help an international exchange student reach his or her personal goals? Host an AYA student! Learn more at www.AcademicYear.org.