Megan Buckley

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

What challenges have I been through?

626 Night Market

Over the summer with fellow Key Club Members, I volunteered once monthly at an Asian festival at Santa Anita Racetrack called the 626 Night Market. At the event, my duties ranged from working will-call checking in vendors and performers, working at the information booth answering questions, and being a member of the crowd control team to ensure that walking paths between lines were unobstructed by guests. At times, it was difficult to communicate with some of the guests due to a language barrier. Many of the people who attended the festival were of Asian descent, and some did not speak English. I found it a challenge to attempt to communicate information effectively. However, I tried my best to point guests in the right direction, remain calm and friendly, and would find a volunteer who could speak their native tongue to answer their questions. Also, some people were not happy with me when I politely asked them to move from standing in the center of a walking path. I tried not to let their rude words phase me as I was preventing overcrowding to make the event more enjoyable and safe for everyone.

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In what ways have I started new challenges?

In what ways have I developed new skills?

Motivating Others

Key Club has given me a platform to motivate other people to commit themselves to actively serving in their community. I really enjoy encouraging other people to make a difference because I have experienced firsthand the sense of fulfillment that selfless acts inspire. Also, my involvement in Key Club has boosted my confidence and practically eradicated my fear of public speaking. In addition, I have become more social, branching out from my typical, quieter demeanor while I volunteer. For example, when I volunteered with Key Club at Isaiah’s Rock, packing and distributing food and toys for Thanksgiving and Christmas, I made it my mission to engage with the people I was serving. When we distributed the food for the holiday season, I wanted to make the exchange more personal and heartfelt. To truly show that I empathized with these people’s struggles, I took the time to have brief conversations with them. Serving more and more has helped me become more receptive to others’ perspectives. As a result, I am able to be less judgmental and extend more compassion.

Communication and Professionalism

Through this volunteer experience, I learned how to be more communicative and professional. If a guest had an issue, it was my responsibility to do my best to help bring about a solution. When a guest was upset that he could not locate the food stand he wanted to buy a meal from, I had to give precise directions, even guiding him to the correct one in the sea of vendors. Even when people were rude to me, I had to remain professional and kind as I did not want to tarnish their view of or misrepresent the 626 Night Market’s volunteers and staff.

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

Learning Discipline

Key Club and all of its related activities have required a large time commitment and I have had to make sacrifices, usually in the form of sleep, to be able to juggle my responsibilities as an officer and attend service events, all the while remaining diligent in my academic work. There were many mornings, such as when I had to be in Chino at 7 am on a Saturday morning after a long school week, that I would’ve liked to sleep in. However, I learned to be even more disciplined, forcing myself out of bed to go volunteer my time. Also, I have become the honorary Key Club “taxi driver” as I consistently drive officers and members to the various service activities and events we participate in. This has required me waking up extra early to pick up everyone, a choice that I willfully make for the benefit of the group. I’d much rather wake up earlier than for them to miss out on an opportunity to volunteer.

Long-Term Volunteering

I volunteered at the 626 Night Market one Saturday for three consecutive months. After I first volunteered, I was slightly uncomfortable with the atmosphere of the event as I felt somewhat out of place among a guest and volunteer population that was predominantly Asian. However, I looked past this and recognized that it really did not matter. Yes, some guests treated me different because I was not the typical volunteer, but it did not deter me from keeping my commitment. I was volunteering to help make the 626 Night Market a success.

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In what ways have I worked collaboratively?

Community Service

In the majority of the Key Club activities I have been involved in, collaboration has been a key component of my community service and has proved to be an essential element to successful events. Our club is a part of a division that consists of ten other high schools. This year, our club has become increasingly involved in division-promoted events where students from all of the schools volunteer. Along with the entire division, we have teamed up with our sponsoring Kiwanis clubs to raise money for their preferred charities and contribute our time to their causes. I helped raise money for the Pediatric Trauma Program by volunteering my face, along with other club presidents and vice presidents, as a target in a divisional pie throwing fundraiser. I donated money to the Eliminate Project through purchasing tickets for and attending the benefit concert as well as the dance off that raised money to bring and end to maternal and neonatal tetanus in the world. I helped the South Hills Kiwanis club clean up the Field of Valor display at Sierra Vista Middle School. I pulled out flags from their stakes in the grass and carried them to a storage trailer where other volunteers stacked them. Again I aided the South Hills Kiwanis club by serving as a representative of Key Club in the Covina Christmas Parade. I collaborated with Kiwanians from all over the US when I worked on the Rose Parade floats the week before Christmas. I cut flowers, refilled glue containers, and transported seeds to their respective locations for use while working alongside them. I assisted Cal Poly Pomona students in weeding their flower garden in preparation for the creation of their own Rose Parade float. Also, I partnered with community members in Rowland Heights’ Red Hat Society during the Buckboard Parade. I helped carry their banner in the parade as they waved to the crowd in their car. They were elderly people and could not walk the long route of the parade. In addition, I worked with Isaiah’s Rock volunteers to effectively and efficiently pack and distribute food to families in need during the holiday season. Also, I worked collaboratively with other club members at our high school to create a banner for the Homecoming Parade and in producing Phili-PINS for to raise money for the Filipino relief effort. Moreover, I teamed up with my fellow officers to seek out activities for our club to volunteer in and presented these opportunities via technology. Our club’s service, and my own, has grown tremendously this past summer and first semester as a result of more collaboration with one another, other Key Clubs, Kiwanis, and organizations in our local community who are all dedicated to service.

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Run or Dye Color Run

I volunteered at the Run or Dye Color Run in the summer, throwing colored corn starch at participants as they completed the race. I worked alongside many strangers to help make the run a success. Some of us collaborated together, throwing corn starch simultaneously at a single participant to add an ample amount of pink to their already powdered, rainbow shirt. After the race was finished, and I, along with the other volunteers, were covered in pink powder from our color station, went to work cleaning up our designated area. We washed down the pavement, collected water bottles that had been tossed by runners as they followed the path, and collapsed canopies. People of many ages, ranging from elementary school kids to adults, worked with me. We took directions from our color station leader and communicated effectively with one another. Our color station had a lot of fun working together and even had our own powder war at the end of the race.

626 Night Market

. I worked collaboratively with a team of volunteers at each 626 Night Market event. Myself and some fellow Key Clubbers were responsible for will-call for the majority of the time we spent volunteering at the event. We worked in partners, one of us checked in the vendors, performers and volunteers with the master list while the other ripped tickets or handed out shirts to incoming volunteers. Our process and teamwork made checking people in more efficient. Collaborating with others helped move people into the gates of Santa Anita Race Track quicker and smoother.

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

Walk for the Hungry

My participation in the Walk for the Hungry engaged me in the global issue of hunger. The Walk for the Hungry at the Claremont Colleges raised money for a local, charitable organization that provides food to community members who cannot afford it themselves. I donated some money to the organization and then walked to raise awareness of the hunger that exists even in America, one of the wealthiest nations in the world. As I walked through the college campuses along the designated path, I thought about how blessed I am to never have to worry about going hungry. I think often times many people believe that hunger is solely a third world issue, however, it exists in our own area. Maybe not to the same extent or on such a massive scale, but nonetheless, hunger in America is real. Walking for the Hungry reminded me that it my duty as a global citizen to raise awareness and help solve issues that are universal. I can start to help provide solutions to these issues by first focusing on my own local community.

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

Service 5/31/2013

I have continued to volunteer at Pomona First Baptist’s Feeding the Needs Ministry on a monthly basis. My duties have remained consistent as I help with the clothing distribution and serving of dinner. This past semester while I have volunteered, I have grown closer to some of the other volunteers. Generally speaking, I tend to be a quieter, more reserved person when around strangers or acquaintances. However, after volunteering through this ministry for the duration that I have, I’ve come out of my shell a little bit among the group. Most of the volunteers are adults and many ask me where I want to go to college, what I want to major in, etc. My answer always sounds something like “I’m not really sure yet. Right now I’m focused on doing what I can to be a good candidate for college admissions.” They usually respond by saying, “I remember when I was young and I wanted to do blank, but I ended up doing blank. You will figure it out.” Through my conversations with some of the older volunteers, I had an epiphany. All of them came from different backgrounds, had different careers and dreams, yet they all shared the same faith and desire to help others. They had individually committed themselves to helping the homeless and low income families because it brought them joy along with greater life purpose. In that moment, I decided what I want to do with the rest of my life. No matter what job title or position I hold in the working world, I decided it must involve helping others. The idea of getting paid while working to make life a little bit better or brighter for someone else appealed to me. Instead of having to find time between working and family to give back, why not make it my life’s work? I’m still not sure what college major I will pursue or what career path I will take, but I know it will be based upon service to others. I am grateful for my exposure to the selflessness of the other volunteers as it has helped me to solidify a major life goal.

Action 5/31/2013

During the track season, I participated as a member of the hurdle crew at all the home track meets. My job was to position the hurdles correctly before each race that required them. All the members of the hurdle crew worked well together and we were praised for our efficiency by the track coaches. Not being involved in sports myself, being a part of the the hurdle crew gave me the opportunity to further develop skills for successful teamwork in an athletic-based environment. My fellow classmates and I each were assigned a specific area on the track to set up. The orderliness of our hurdle set-up was key to our success as a crew. It was fun to work with the others outside the typical classroom setting. In addition to teaching me more about teamwork, being a part of hurdle crew provided me with a chance to support Charter Oak athletes. I had never been to a track meet before I joined hurdle crew and was unaware of the amount of talent on our school’s team. I enjoyed cheering on the runners as they raced toward the finish line against their competitors. Encouraging the athletes made me feel good; I hope it made them feel more confident in their athletic ability.

Service 1/4/2013

“I have continued to devote one Saturday afternoon each month to volunteering in Pomona First Baptist Church’s feeding the needs ministry which serves low-income families and the homeless.  My duties as a volunteer have remained mostly the same.  I help sort donated clothing for distribution, monitor the hygiene table and hand out items, serve dinner to the guests, and clean up the auditorium.  However, when there is a shortage of volunteers in the children’s ministry, I help out there.  I really enjoy helping the kids put together seasonal crafts and rewarding them with prizes during games.  The kids look up to me and always want to impress me with their artwork and knowledge.  I love being able to boost their confidence through words of affirmation.  It is amazing to me that, despite being impoverished, the kids are always happy.  Their contentment has shown me firsthand how money does not guarantee happiness, but rather a positive attitude is a sign of a satisfying life.”

Creative 1/3/2013

“Since the beginning of summer, I have worked as an unpaid assistant photographer at Kyle Allen Photo.  Over the past few months, I have gone from having zero photographic knowledge or skill to being able to operate professional DSLR cameras and use photo-editing software to produce beautiful images for a wide array of clientele.  I have worked with brides, engaged couples, families, and seniors who have sought out Kyle Allen Photo to capture weddings, portraits, or events.
Working at Kyle Allen Photo has taught me the basics of running a successful business such as the importance of marketing and excellent customer service.  Also, photography has satisfied my creative interests as it grants me the power to convey emotion and reveal beauty from my own perspective behind the lens.  Moreover, it has allowed me to explore my love for fashion as I have helped clients with styling their sessions.  Being a photographer has given me the opportunity to travel internationally for the first time in my life, as the last wedding I photographed was in Toronto, Canada.
I am excited to see where photography will lead me in 2013!”

Service 1/3/2013

“I have been volunteering my time as an assistant leader for the Badillo Good News Club again this year.  Every Monday after school, students meet to learn more about Christianity and are exposed to Bible stories.  I work with the first and second graders, who I would argue are the most excited to learn and the most fun to teach.
I help lead the children in song and am in charge of the review question game at the end of each lesson. They are so eager to answer questions and never fail to surprise me with how much they actually remember from the weekly bible story. I have had the opportunity to get to know the kids individually and it’s amazing how they are all so unique.
Being in charge of the kids has caused me to be more patient and to have a greater respect for teachers who deal with them for six hours, five days a week. I love serving as a positive role model to them and can’t wait to see their smiling faces next week when club meetings resume.”

Service 1/3/2013

On Halloween, I volunteered at Washington Elementary School’s annual festival.  I helped make cotton candy and take tickets.  The kids were so excited as they watched the cotton candy turn from powder to huge pieces of colored fluff.  It was awesome to get to work around the kids and see how much fun they were having playing games and being with friends as they celebrated Halloween.  I’m glad I was able to contribute my time to provide a safer alternative to trick-or-treating for the children.

Action 1/1/2013

“In October, I participated in UCLA’s Dribble for the Cure event for the second time. As a participant, I raised money for pediatric cancer research in the weeks leading up to the event.  This year I raised twice as much money as I did last year.  On the day of the event, I joined with hundreds of other individuals and dribbled around the UCLA campus to show my support and dedication to this cause.  I completed the 2-3 mile dribbling course feeling proud of myself for staying committed and contributing to a cause that works to improve the lives of children diagnosed with cancer.
I am empowered by the fact that my physical contribution and fundraising donations are working to spread awareness and continue the search for a cure.  My continued involvement in this event has caused me to truly understand the fragility of life and be more thankful for my good health.  I plan to participate in this event again next year and continue to help bring about an end to pediatric cancer.”

Service 5/27/2012

Starting in April, I devoted one hour every Monday afternoon to volunteer at the Badillo Good News Club.  I helped teach first and second graders about Jesus and the Bible.  Every week we would play games, sing songs, and teach stories from the Bible.  The kids were so eager to learn more and were always so excited to see me each week.  They looked up to me as a role model and that was a great feeling.  It was awesome to see the kids understanding what we were teaching them.  Their innocence and love for learning was so sincere.  I enjoyed getting to know each of them and their individual personalities.  Volunteering at Good News Club was a wonderful way to start each of my weeks.  It was hard saying goodbye to the kids for the summer, but I will see them again next school year as I plan to continue as a volunteer for the program.

Service 5/27/2012

For the past five months I have volunteered at Pomona First Baptist Church every fourth Saturday of the month.  Pomona First Baptist has a ministry called Feeding the Needs that is designed to clothe and feed both the homeless and low income families.  As a volunteer, my job is to help set up and clean up the clothing room and serve dinner to the guests.  When we set up the clothing room we look through donated items and sort them accordingly into men’s, women’s, and children’s clothing.  I have tended to help with the women’s clothing, but have also helped with the hygiene table where toiletries are distributed.  After we set up, our guests come in and select clothing that they are in need of.  They are always so thankful and happy to be receiving the donated items.  Once all of the guests finish making their selections, we clean up and close the clothing room.  Our next task is to serve dinner.  The other volunteers and I take plates to the seated guests and serve with a smile.  Then we are invited to eat and sit with some of the guests.  Talking with them has helped me to be more thankful and appreciative for the life that I have been blessed with.  I have also gotten to know some of my fellow volunteers over the past five months.  Volunteering with such wonderful people has only made my experience at Feeding the Needs more enjoyable and fulfilling.  I look forward to continue to serve through this ministry throughout the summer and next year.

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Service: 2011

“On Thanksgiving morning, I joined Key Club and served at Christ Church of the Valley in San Dimas.  I helped prepare Thanksgiving meals that would be distributed to needy families who did not have the financial ability to have their own Thanksgiving dinner.  My duties included pie slicing and resealing and draining cans of vegetables.  The other Key Club members and I worked together in an orderly and systematic fashion.  We got to know each other better and worked efficiently as a team.  I also got to know some of the CCV volunteers who were also helping in the meal preparation.
Thanksgiving dinner is something that I could not imagine not being able to have.  Its my favorite meal of the entire year.  If my family was unable to have Thanksgiving dinner, the provision of it from an organization would be such a blessing.  Through this service project, I was able to help make Thanksgiving dinner readily available for those people who could not provide it for themselves.  Thanksgiving is a time to reflect and be thankful about all that you have.  Serving on Thanksgiving morning helped me to recognize how blessed I am that my family is financially stable.  ”

Service:  2011-12

“Over winter break, I went Christmas caroling with the Badillo Good News Club through the surrounding community.  The Good News Club is an optional after school program held every Monday at Badillo Elementary School that teaches elementary kids more about Jesus and the Bible.  My mom has been actively involved in the program for four years as the teacher of the first and second grade class.  Her and the other leaders decided this year to start a Christmas caroling group for the kids in the program.  I decided to tag along with the group and spread some holiday cheer.
We went to many houses and walked quite a ways through the neighborhoods that surround Badillo Elementary.  We sang carols to every house that was willing to listen.  Those who opened their doors for us were quite shocked by our unexpected presence, but were delighted to hear us singing.  They didn’t care that we were off-key, pitchy, and lacked harmony as a group.  Our audience was touched by our simplistic performance.  We were able to serve the community with a Christmas gift of song.  Such a small gesture made so many people feel joyful.  I am glad I was able to contribute my voice to the group and help bring cheer to those who heard us caroling.  I plan to go Christmas caroling again next year with the group and bless even more people through song.”

Service:  2011

“During Thanksgiving and Christmas, I had the opportunity to serve the homeless as well as people struggling with economic hardships through Feeding the Needs Ministry.  Pomona First Baptist Church distributes clothes and hygiene kits, offers free haircuts/washing, and serves dinner the fourth Saturday of every month.  The holiday season brought a great number of people to the event in the months of November and December.
I helped prepare and assist with the clothing distribution.  Myself and other volunteers sorted and set out clothes according to size, style, age, and gender.  We went through lots of boxes that all had been donated.  I was amazed by the large quantity of donations.  Even after all of our sorting, the storage room was still completely filled with donated boxes full of clothing.
After I finished helping with the preparation, the people waiting to receive the donations were allowed to enter.  I was assigned to assist with the children’s clothing area.  A few children came up to the tables and I helped them pick out their favorite items.  Seeing their innocent smiles and the eagerness they had to show their parents the clothes they had gotten made all the preparation worthwhile.  I had donated clothes to the ministry prior to volunteering, but was now witnessing firsthand the impact the donations were making.
The clothing distribution wrapped up and all the volunteers headed to the auditorium to serve dinner.  I began serving dinners to the mass number of people seated.  When I handed each person a plate of food, each of their responses expressed great thankfulness.
I was so glad that I was able to help serve at the past two monthly events organized by Pomona First Baptist Church.  It caused me to realize truly how blessed I am.  It also gave me the opportunity to bless those who are less fortunate.  The attitudes of the people I served revealed to me what an authentic thankful heart truly looks like.  I look forward to continue serving through Feeding the Needs Ministry.  ”

Service:  2011

“At the end of October, I was able to be a part of the UCLA: Dribble for the Cure event.  I tagged along with the Mt. Sac Accounting, Finance, and Management Club, of which my boyfriend is club President.  Dribble for the Cure is an annual fundraising event which raises money for pediatric cancer research.  Monetary donations were taken by donors who supported individuals to literally dribble for the cure.  We each brought a basketball on the day of the event and were prepared to dribble.
We followed a marked path and dribbled basketballs through the UCLA campus.  People of all ages showed up to participate in the event.  Dribbling side by side so many different people all dedicated to the same cause was unlike any thing I had every experienced.  All the participants united and completed the 2-3 mile journey together.
A child who had won his battle against cancer came and spoke as a guest speaker.  His story was very touching and inspiring.  His testimony gave a face to pediatric cancer.  The boy’s career goal was to become a medical researcher specializing in the treatment of cancer.  The tremendous impact that advancements in medicine can have on people’s lives intrigued me.  I am now considering the possibility of entering into the medical field myself.

2 Responses to Megan Buckley

  1. Pingback: Matthew Rios, Megan Buckley, Christian Shenk and Casie Zwahlen « iblong

  2. Pingback: Matthew Rios, Megan Buckley, Christian Shenk and Casie Zwahlen « iblong

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