Alternative Seasonal Break - Philippines
Hi! My name is Mia and I got involved with the Atherton YMCA earlier this year. I am going to be a junior at UH Manoa majoring in Finance and Chinese. I first got involved with the YMCA after hearing about the Alternative Spring Break Program in the Philippines. It was an incredible experience that really opened my eyes to the benefits of volunteering. It was a humbling experience as I created relationships with the children and heard of their eagerness to explore the world as well as their aspirations in life. I saw firsthand how their limited resources did not limit their dreams. This experience allowed me to look at my own life and realize how blessed I was. I also learned so much about myself as I realized the importance of volunteering. Volunteering not only helps the people you serve, but it allows you to reflect on your own life and grow as a person. Volunteering with the YMCA was a very easy process as they have so many different programs that you can choose from! So far, I have volunteered in the Philippines and was a college camp mentor this past summer.
Aside from the obvious benefits of volunteering, there were also benefits that I did not expect. The main benefit that came as a surprise was the great friendships I was able to make with the people I volunteered with. I believe that something magical happens when a group of people is willing to give up their time and energy towards a cause that they believe in. I am so grateful for the wonderful and amazing people I have met along the way and I am so glad I got involved at the Atherton YMCA!
University of Hawaii at Manoa, Junior
Major: Finance and Chinese