Lauren Castro

How am I growing in my own awareness of my strengths and weaknesses?

Glendora Public Library

As I spend more time volunteering at the Glendora Public Library, I become more aware of the limits my organizational skills. Being there on the weekends has also helped me become more familiar with libraries in general, which will help me navigate through university libraries in the future.


Creating posters for the Remembrance Walk has made me aware of how little I use my artistic abilities. Although I do not usually acknowledge my weaker creative side, making posters has highlighted my strengths as a planner.


Playing on Charter Oak’s varsity volleyball team this past summer and fall has increased my awareness of my physical strengths and weaknesses. I know my limits, although I have also learned to continually challenge myself to push those limits. I have also grown in my eagerness to be a team player, remembering that victories are not achieved by a single star player, but rather an entire team as a unit working together.


Volunteering as a coach at the Grace Church of Glendora Youth Volleyball Camp has made me more aware of my current athletic skills and increased my confidence in my physical ability. It also reminded me of my abilities (or lack of) when I first attended the camp as a player.

Connecting With Children

Volunteering at Grace Church of Glendora’s Vacation Bible School made me realize that I was able to connect better with children than I originally thought. I don’t usually spend time with small kids, considering the fact that I have only one elementary school-aged cousin, but being around all the kids in the summer brightened my day and made me want to work harder to improve my people skills.

What challenges have I been through?

Glendora Public Library

When I first began volunteering at the library, my biggest challenge was remembering how every book and CD was supposed to be shelved and where. Although it took some time to adjust, I was able to get the hang of the system and soon became a pro at reshelving books.


For me, it was a small challenge to create the posters. I tend to stay away from anything creative, thus the large amount of Action and Service hours here, but it was nice to stray away from activities in my comfort zone.

Getting in Shape

One of the most challenging things for me this past volleyball season was getting back into physical shape for the fall season. During the summer, I began to get in shape by attending conditioning sessions, which were physically and mentally draining.

Volleyball Youth Camp

It was a slight challenge to connect with the young children, but once I got to know the kids, teaching them the basics of the game of volleyball became easier and I was able to develop my people skills even more.

Getting Up Early and Volleyball Conditioning

It was definitely a challenge at first to connect with the kids and get them to listen to my directions, but once we all became familiar with one another, everything became easier. The most difficult part of VBS week was getting up early to go set up for the kids, especially considering that I had volleyball conditioning RIGHT BEFORE I had to report to the sign in center to prepare for the next VBS day.

In what ways have I started new challenges?


This experience has challenged me to explore my artistic side. I am not very talented when it comes to paining or drawing, but my artistic talent comes from my ability to play the piano. Since I am more musically inclined, my next challenge is to work on my other artistic skills.

Volleyball in College

My next challenge is to continue to hone my volleyball skills in college, although most likely at the intramural level. Volleyball will always be a passion of mine, and the most challenging thing for me now is to find the time to balance the sport with my daily life now that I am no longer on a team.

Volleyball Youth Camp

I have challenged myself to develop my people skills and work on becoming a better coach and teacher.


This experience has challenged me to continue to volunteer at my church’s VBS camps and develop my people skills even further.

In what ways have I developed new skills?

Making Posters

Creating posters for the Remembrance Walk has encouraged me to be more creative and express myself. I am not usually a very artistic person, so it was a good experience to step out of my comfort zone and do something positive for my community.


Volleyball season has allowed me to work on my skills as a setter, specifically to improve my back sets and defensive skills during practices and games.

Volleyball Youth Camp

Volunteering at the volleyball camp has allowed me the opportunity to develop my leadership skills through the coach of the younger children. I have also been able to share my specific experiences playing volleyball for Charter Oak High School.

Organizational Skills

During my time as a volunteer at the library, I have developed my organizational skills even further. Each genre is organized meticulously, so every book must be in order for the next reader to find it on the shelf and avoid confusion over the location of books.

In what ways have I shown perseverance and commitment to my activities?

Glendora Public Library

I have been volunteering at the Glendora Public Library for over a year, now and being able to say that I have been in a long-term commitment allows me to feel as though I am making a small contribution to my local community.

Making Posters

This is the second year that I have made posters for the Remembrance Walk. i think this is a worthwhile cause because of the Walk’s role in the community, specifically among college students who receive the community scholarships.

Sportsmanship and Encouragement

Although volleyball is a way for me to forget about my problems, it is also a mentally and physically draining activity. A certain mindset is require in order to be a team player. I have shown my perseverance and commitment to volleyball through my good sportsmanship and encouragement of my team mates, even when I was not being played.

Youth Volleyball Camp

This is the third year that I have volunteered at Grace Church’s Youth Volleyball Camp. Every year is better than before, and many of the children return the next year to develop their own athletic skills even more. I genuinely enjoy spending time teaching young children how to play my favorite sport and I intend to continue volunteering there for as long as I am able to.

Saturday Mornings at the Glendora Public Library

I have been volunteering at the Glendora Public Library for almost two years now. At first, I thought it would only be for a short time, but as I spent more time at the library, I realized how important libraries really are to other members of the community and I decided to remain at the library until graduation. It is a calming way to spend my Saturday mornings, surrounded by books and people who value libraries and reading as much as I do.

In what ways have I worked collaboratively?

Glendora Public Library

Everybody in the library does their part to make sure it runs smoothly, so being able to say that I volunteer there in my free time allows me to be another team member.


By working on the posters, I was given the opportunity to work with my fellow Lighthouse Christian Club members. Together, we were able to brainstorm and create four posters to decorate the stadium with during the Remembrance Walk.

Being Part of a Team

During the season, I learned that a team can never achieve anything unless all of its team members work together. Every game and every practice requires that every player try their hardest to contribute to the success of the entire team. I have worked collaboratively with my teammates to discover which sets and plays work and don’t work for every player.


As a coach, I worked collaboratively with several of the other coaches to set up exercises and scrimmages. It was vital to the success of the camp that we come up with effective ways of getting our points across and getting our players to understand and execute our instructions and advice.


Together with my fellow sub-group leaders, we worked collaboratively to make sure that the kids had the best experience possible. We prepped fun crafts, dances, songs, and games for the kids and led them to each station to ensure their safety.

In what ways have I been engaged in issues with global importance?


Coaching at the camp has exposed me to a new side of sports. All over the world, sports have the ability to unite different people. The influential power of sports is extremely strong to many people, especially when used as an outlet for fellowship and community in addition to physical exercise.

Homeless at the Library

One thing I did not expect when volunteering my time at a library was exposure to global issues. Sure, there are plenty of books on important issues all over the world, but volunteering at the library has also exposed me to issues in my community. During my time at the library, I have seen several homeless people spending their time at the library. Every Saturday, the same man comes in as soon as the doors open and spends his day sitting in the same chair or walking around, reading different books. I had never really thought about the fact that there are many people struggling to provide for themselves in Glendora; I always assumed that was not the case.

What are the ethical or moral implications of what I’m doing and learning?

Contributing to the Community

Creating these posters has helped me to realize that the Remembrance Walk is more than just an opportunity to exercise; it is an opportunity to raise money for student scholarships. Although simple posters will most likely not have a huge effect on the amount of money raised, they may help to increase the overall mood of the walk. Being able to have the opportunity to do something for the community organization, no matter how small, helps me feel as if I am contributing positively to my community.

Code of Ethics

Volleyball is a fast-paced sport, one that holds multiple opportunities in which to cheat. Playing for Charter Oak High School has further enforced my code of ethics, specifically my determination to be as fair and truthful as possible during games. Having a positive attitude is crucial when being involved in any team sport because it enforces the importance of being a good team member and positive member of society.

Setting a Good Example

In addition to the volleyball aspect of the camp, Grace Church also includes a short bible study during the break. Not only have I learned how to become a better coach and teacher, but I have also learned to set a good example for the children who attended the church camp.

The most major ethical/moral implication of my time volunteering was making sure that I was setting a good example for the younger kids. Many of them did not attend the church, in fact, many of them did not attend church at all, so their first impression of Grace Church was extremely important. I made an extra effort to make the kids feel welcome, especially those who were unfamiliar with the camp, so that they would be encouraged to return next summer.

Creativity 5/31/2013

In February, I participated in Blankets of Love as part of the Charter Oak High School Key Club. My group and I cut and tied a blanket that was promised to a child in the hospital. It made me happy to know that I would be providing a sick child with a little piece of happiness through a simple blanket. I learned that these children appreciate every little thing they receive, even something like a blanket made by a high school club. Even though I did not know which child received the blanket I had helped to make, I was proud to know that I had (hopefully!) helped brighten a child’s day.

Service 5/31/2013

About a week before Mother’s Day, I volunteered at the East San Gabriel Valley Japanese Community Center’s annual Mother’s Day Japanese Tea. I volunteered at this event last year so I was fairly certain of what it would be like this year. I helped to make sure that each table had the correct number of chairs and I set out the table decorations. I also made tea with the other volunteers and rolled up cucumber wraps for the tea goers. It was nice to be able to volunteer somewhere I did not usually go to. I enjoyed being able to help brighten the day of those who attended the tea with their mothers. I learned that you don’t always have to be familiar with people in order to make a difference in their day.

Service 5/31/2013

Every Saturday morning for the past year I have been volunteering at the Glendora Public Library. At the library, I re-shelve and re-organize the library books. I enjoy volunteering there because it gives me the opportunity to help keep the library neat and organized for the community and assist people by finding books they need, whether for a school report or for summer reading. Volunteering at the library has also helped me to become more organized at home and wake up earlier on the weekends. Because of the commitments I take on outside of my house, I am able to manage my time and balance my schedule between volunteering at the library and work I have at home and at school.

Creativity 4/12/2013

As part of Charter Oak’s Key club, I decided to take part in a group of students who dedicated the lunch hour to making blankets for the annual Blankets of Love project.  We all met in the Spanish classroom to cut and tie the blankets.  This was a fun experience for me because it gave me the opportunity to help create a blanket that would hopefully provide warmth and comfort to a child in the hospital, as well as connect with my fellow Key Clubbers.

Service 1/5/2013

On November 24th,  I volunteered at CCV as part of the Charter Oak High School Key Club.  I helped unload trucks full of food items, such as frozen turkeys, bread rolls, pies, and canned goods.  I carried them into the main sanctuary of the church and helped place them on shelves at each food station.  I assisted my fellow Key Clubbers by distributing bags of food to needy families and helping to load said items into the families’ cars.  This volunteering experience gave me the opportunity to give back to my community by helping families in need with Thanksgiving dinner.  I learned that there are many people in the community who need help providing for their families, and CCV provides them with a full Thanksgiving dinner.  I feel blessed to be able to be able to help contribute to these families in this way.

Action 1/5/2013

The 2012 JV Volleyball season has been a wonderful experience for me.  The amount of time spent at games and tournaments has taught me the importance of teamwork and sacrifice, especially when traveling to away games and tournaments.  I have also learned to be patient, as well as supportive of my teammates when I am not on the court.  Through the school’s volleyball program I have been able to develop close friendships with my teammates and I have come to appreciate the skills brought to the court by every one of them.  I have also been able to develop my own skills as a setter, as well as practice as a middle front blocker/hitter.

Service 1/5/2013

Over the summer I volunteered at my church as a youth volleyball coach.  Every summer, Grace Church of Glendora runs a youth volleyball camp for kids who want to learn the fundamentals of volleyball.  This was my second year as a volunteer coach in this program.  Like the year before, I was able to teach the kids some of the basics of volleyball, such as passing, hitting, and setting.  The kids were very eager to learn and play.  Being a part of this program for the second year has allowed me to further develop my skills as a coach and as a leader.  Through this camp, not only have I helped kids to understand the fundamentals of a team sport, but I have also learned how to develop better communication skills when addressing young children.  The volleyball camp was a great way for me to take on a greater position as a leader in my community.

Creative 1/5/2013

On December 22 I went to the Rose Bowl with the rest of the Key Club to decorate floats for the Rose Parade.  From 9 AM to 4 PM I applied glue and crushed white rice to the base of the Alhambra float.  Although the job was relatively easy, it required a lot of attention to detail in order to get the rice to stick to every inch of the lattice design.  Working on the base also meant that I had to squat down in order to reach my work space.  The next day, my legs were so sore and I was walking very stiffly!  Although the job was monotonous, working on the float taught me to be careful and concentrate my attention on the details, something I would normally ignore.  It was also satisfying to know that I had made at least a small contribution to the Rose Parade preparations.

Service 5/28/2012

Every Wednesday starting in May, I have been volunteering at the Glendora Public Library.  As soon as I get there, I sign in and head over to the shelves where dozens of books are waiting for me to reshelve them.  Depending on the amount of books there are in each genre, I go where I am needed most.  By volunteering here, I am able to spend some of my free time helping to keep the library neat and organized.  I have learned to keep everything where it should be, as well as how to work quickly and efficiently in order to get books back to their proper places before the library closes.

Service 5/28/2012

On May 6, 2012, I was a part of the serving staff at the Japanese Community Center’s Mother’s Day Tea.  I got there a couple hours early in order to help finish putting together the flower pins (made by my friend’s mom) and set up tables and place settings.  Once people started arriving for the tea, my two friends and I went into the office to start making the tea.  I learned how to manage time better in order to have enough tea ready when people wanted it.  I also learned how to better organize myself while making two different kinds of tea in similar-looking pots simultaneously.  Making so many pots of english and japanese tea made me realize how challenging it would be if I had been working in an actual restaurant.  Brewing tea is actually harder than it seems.

Service 5/28/2012

During the San Gabriel Valley Food Truck Festival, I was a part of Journalism’s Stussey Outlet Sale.  I helped my fellow staff writers gather and fold all the clothes at the end of the sale.  We were out there for two hours just repacking all the clothes that had not been sold.  I made sure all the sizes and boxes were in order before taking them over to the trucks so they could be reloaded.  I also helped fold down all the metal racks, as well as the long tables, which had to be carried back into the music room and stacked for whoever needed them next.  I learned a little about what working in a clothing store would be like.  I also learned to be patient and organized when clothes turned up places they were not meant to be.

Service 2/14/2012:

Saturday, February 4th, I went to the Remembrance Walk with a few friends from Lighthouse Christian Club in order to help set up before the event.  We arrived at the track an hour early to begin setting up posters.  I also helped to carry the signboards to different places around the track.  After the event, my friend and I took down the posters that had been hanging on the outside of the fence.  Volunteering and participating in the Remembrance Walk allowed me to help set up an event that people went to in order to remember their loved ones, as well as to raise money for  scholarships for seniors who needed them.


Over winter break I helped a girl in my physics class get caught up with all her work. She had come into the class late, so my teacher asked me if I would be willing to help her go over her missing assignments. She caught on quickly and was able to do the work once I explained a few of the problems from the chapters we had already covered. By helping her, I was actually able to understand the material better by explaining it to someone else. Repeating the situations aloud helped the problems to make more sense to me, and I was able to help my classmate get a better grade as well.


” Last summer I helped out at my church, Grace Church of Glendora, during their summer volleyball camps. There were two camps: the first camp was from June 6, 13, 20, 27 for kids ages 7-11, and the second camp was from July 11, 18, 25 and August 1, 8, 15 for kids ages 11-14. It was the first summer that my friend and I were old enough to sign up to coach younger kids.
During the camp for the younger kids, we taught them how to properly warm up and stretch so they wouldn’t get hurt. We taught them basic skills, such as passing, and how to get into the proper stance. Since this was my first time working with younger kids, I was a little bit nervous, but they were really sweet and silly, so by the end of the camp I was used to helping them. Being there to coach the little kids taught me patience and perserverance. They didn’t always get it right the first time, so I would have to explain it to them several times before they got it right. They were also willing to learn, although most of them were very shy because it was their first time ever touching a volleyball. Even though my friends and I are usually loud, I got to spend time with kids who were more on the quiet side, and I got to learn how sweet they could be.
The second camp was more focused on more advanced skills, such as setting, hitting, and sprawling. The kids that went were mostly around middle school age, so they had already been playing for a little while. My friends and I coached during this camp as well. We led the kids through hitting drills, setting drills, and passing drills. We taught them how to hit and showed them alternative ways of hand positioning while passing. With these older kids, we were able to coach games that were more competitve and playful. I learned that PLAYING volleyball was very different than COACHING volleyball. I had to explain myself more and demonstrate many times before they understood what I was trying to say. I learned how to teach others better and get others to see my point of view.

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