There are 86,400 seconds in each day. While that may seem like a lot to some, to others it will never be enough. Time is the only resource you cannot […]
There are 86,400 seconds in each day. While that may seem like a lot to some, to others it will never be enough. Time is the only resource you cannot save or recycle. You can’t store it or carry it over to the next day. Once it’s gone, it’s gone.
When I first moved to Cleveland two years ago, I found myself with “extra” time on my hands and needed to DO something with it. My parents always told me that idle time was the Devil’s workshop, so I am still fearful (even as an adult) of what might happen if I don’t fill that time with something. With that, I started researching local agencies in search of volunteers to find my “something,” and came across EYEJ, Empowering Youth Exploring Justice.
At first, I was hesitant to get involved with EYEJ because I didn’t understand their mission and worried about my ability (or inability) to relate to the students. Having grown up in a very different environment from inner city Cleveland, the plight of today’s youth baffled me. I was raised by a village, in a small town, where everyone knew and respected my family. Going to school was a cool thing to do and I developed a love for education. I had a “Big” from Big Brothers/Big Sisters who was instrumental in exposing me to what was outside of my neighborhood. I experienced the theater, family vacations, and hanging out with my Country Club friends. The local police were parents of my friends and we played outside for hours with no threat of violence. The only time I heard gunshots was on New Year’s Eve as my dad fired his shotgun into the air in a celebratory manner. Yep, my dad was in the house while I was growing up!
Looking back, I realize I was one of the lucky ones. What would I have become if my formative years had been different? What if nobody had shown an interest in my future? I shudder at what might have been. Because of that, I found my “something!” While my work schedule does not always permit me to attend the classroom session, I have committed to help train new volunteers.
I want to put a challenge out there to anyone who might be hesitating….step out of your comfort zone. Giving students a safe place to talk about their issues is the cornerstone of what EYEJ does and we can’t continue to do it without you. If you have idle time, I encourage you to volunteer 3,600 seconds (60 minutes) in the classroom. You will be so glad you did. If your schedule does not permit, consider a financial donation so we can continue the work that is so desperately needed during these uncertain times. So I ask you, how are you spending your 86,400 seconds today?
If you’d like to be a Volunteer Speaker or Coordinator in the Discussion Series – simply Get Involved.
Regional Capability Manager
EYEJ Training Lead
To see Melanie in action – click here – thanks to LaunchArts Media.
Note from EYEJ – we thank Melanie Warford for all that she has done for EYEJ already, as our Training Lead, she has helped to train not only our EYEJ staff on recruiting volunteers but also our Volunteer Speakers & Coordinators with our EYEJ Discussion Series.