Jessica Perry, 12, of Kenai, Alaska, a seventh-grader at Nikiski Middle/High School, has been a dedicated volunteer since the summer of 2016 with her local Boys & Girls Club, providing hands-on support on activities ranging from housekeeping to helping with art projects. Jessica was inspired to help the club by several of its staff members. “They showed me how to help and act, which inspired me to help the children at B&G,” Jessica said. So she talked to staffers to learn how she might be able to help. “I felt like it was important because now the simple things that the staff had to take time out of their busy life to do, I now could do for the staff,” Jessica said.
After learning where she might be able to make a difference, Jessica got to work. She has helped with teaching choir, healthy habits instruction and art projects. She’s also provided cleanup and housekeeping support, and helped staff members with their planning. Jessica made a special effort to learn perseverance, patience and how to talk to kids. She recruited her best friend to volunteer, too. Over the course of her time volunteering with the Boys & Girls Club, Jessica has supported nearly 100 kids and the entire staff – and has even received an award for her efforts. “The main thing I have gotten out of my volunteer work is a newfound appreciation for kids,” Jessica said.