It’s easy to find overachieving students at William & Mary. Literally point in any direction and you’re bound to locate a few. Overachieving college students were once overachieving high school students who may or may not have completed community service hours for recognition come graduation. At my high school in McLean, Virginia, students were encouraged to complete service hours, and incentivized with a flashy cord they could wear on graduation.
For me, however, I was incentivized by something else. It was always more about giving back to my community that I loved. It wasn’t about the hours that I racked up volunteering with the middle school debate team, at my recreation center with Adapted Aquatics, or at the local retirement home, but the genuine interactions and unique stories I could take away from each. I felt like community service embodied the values I cherished most, and thus, I sought out volunteer opportunities as a college freshman.
I’ve written about my experiences with Campus Kitchens and the Office of Community Engagement since my first day, but few know about my involvement prior to my first day of class. I was so proactive to pursue opportunities, and serious about volunteering, that I spent the Tuesday before classes started with a non-profit in Colonial Williamsburg. Since then, I am proud to have pioneered a chapter of Lazarus Rising with two close friends which will receive its own dedicated blog post in the near future. In this post, I intend to share the opportunity to get involved with Camp Kesem at William & Mary.
Camp Kesem is a non-profit organization led by the most charismatic, cheerful individuals to provide a week of fun for children whose parents have been impacted by cancer. Every volunteer is given a nickname which hold sentimental value for a lifetime. I was nicknamed “Blizzard” because of my love for the snow and ice-cream, however, I am no longer an active volunteer with the organization. That being said, it was great to be a part of such an incredible group of people who devote part of their summer to engage with young children who can relate to one another by overcoming similar hardships.
Personally, I love spending my time benefiting the greater good. It’s a unique feeling that one seldom finds. Getting involved with an organization that works with children can be fulfilling, but volunteering with Camp Kesem is special because you’re responsible for helping children with “big people” problems enjoy their youth. See who is involved at William & Mary by visiting their official Camp Kesem page. Also, keep your eye open for the annual fundraising event, Giving Tuesday, on November 27th. A small donation can make a big difference.