If I could only use one word or phrase to describe my week of service at LittlePink, I’d say it was like a fairy tale.
In 2017, my family received a retreat from Little Pink Houses of Hope, an organization that grants free, week-long retreats to families affected by breast cancer. The founder is from Burlington, NC, but Little Pink has retreats everywhere from North Carolina to Arizona to Maryland to St. John. My family went on the Carolina Beach retreat and it was absolutely amazing. We met some wonderful people that we will never forget, with some of whom we are still in contact. We fell in love with the organization and on the way home from our retreat, we decided that we were going to volunteer the next year. My mom and I submitted our volunteer applications for the Hatteras Island, NC retreat. We were accepted, so in May 2018, my mom and I woke up bright and early one day and set off for Hatteras Island. If I could only use one word or phrase to describe my week of service at LittlePink, I’d say it was like a fairy tale. I thought it was great just being a retreat recipient, but it was AT LEAST ten times as magical being a retreat volunteer. It was wonderful to give these families a week of fun and wonder.
Many of them had never been to the east coast or even to the beach. I met so many amazing people on this trip that, thankfully, I’m still in contact with. If I could give a stranger one piece of advice, I’d say to go volunteer for a Little Pink retreat if they can. Whether they’re a sixteen-year-old high school student or a retired grandparent, anyone can do something to help Little Pink Houses of Hope that will change both their life and the lives of others. Volunteering with Little Pink Houses of Hope gives me great joy, because I know my actions are positively impacting others. Service means a lot to me, as does knowing I’m making a difference for the better.
Since I was a little girl, I have known I want to make a difference in the world. I have not always known how I would accomplish that, but I’ve been certain I am going to. I currently have three strong career choices. They are very different from each other, but they are all careers that help others and they are all careers that require strong communication skills, which is why I am going to study Communication. One of my potential career options is to become a 4-H Agent through Cooperative Extension. I am currently participating in the 4-H youth development program, where I teach workshops and act as a mentor for my peers and younger 4-H members. I especially love helping the younger 4-H members and teaching them about the different opportunities available in 4-H. I enjoy exposing them to and increasing their knowledge in STEM, leadership, environmental, critical thinking, and healthy living topics. The best moments are when I see new faces at 4-H and know that those youth are only at the beginning of their amazing adventures. If I become a 4-H agent, I will be able to help youth get the most out of their time in 4-H, like I am doing. I will be an adult mentor to the young 4-H members, just like my agent has been to me, and I will get to be a meaningful part of their lives. Most of all, I want to do as much as possible to help youth succeed in 4-H and in life, and to love 4-H the way I do. 4-H has been a significant part of helping me grow into the person I am and becoming a 4-H agent would be a great way to stay in 4-H, working with young people, forever. 4-H would be my job so it really would be what would drive my life and would provide be new challenges and adventures every day.
Another option is to go to law school and become a prosecuting attorney. I believe in justice and helping those who are victims of crimes. When I was much younger, I wanted to be an agent for the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation, because I loved watching “NCIS” on television and thought it would be a noble thing to do. Eventually, I realized that career was too dangerous for me. One day, when I was watching another television program, I realized it seemed like a lot of fun to be a lawyer. I would get to argue for a living and help people at the same time. As I got older and thought about it more seriously, I realized that being a prosecutor would be a great way to help people. Lawyers help protect the public from criminals just as much as law enforcement officers and lawyers’ jobs are much safer. Plus, as I have gotten older, I have become very interested in how the legal system works and how justice is achieved. I am upset by the court cases in the news where it does not seem like justice was served. If I were a lawyer, I would do my best to make sure the victims and defendants were all treated fairly by the justice system.
My last career option is to become a professional videographer. I love video production. My interest started years ago when I took my first video production class. After that, I did small projects here and there. I was just a beginner, and I still have a lot to learn, but I knew then that this is something I wanted to keep doing. I started my own YouTube channel because I wanted to make videos just like the YouTubers I watched and adored. In 2016, I started volunteering at the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences, where I was taught by a professional videographer and used professional equipment to make professional-quality videos for the museum’s publications. One of my favorite parts of this experience was using the cool equipment to make content that would actually help educate the public about science and increase awareness for important issues. Two years later, I was devastated when the program was shut down, but that has not stopped my interest in video production and communication. I still produce videos for my YouTube channel and work on side projects, although, I have had to cut back my video production time to focus on my studies. I want to expand my knowledge of proper communication skills and enhance my video production skills. I want to make high-quality videos that will entertain and educate people. The future really is in digital media and that is a future I want to be a part of.
No matter what I end up doing with my life, I am going to make a difference to people, to youth like me. Getting a Communication degree will be a good first step in getting the education I need to ensure I can make the world better for others. Even though I am not sure exactly how I’m going to do that yet, I know I need a proper education to be successful.