Shawntel Ytac

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

Earth Club

All of senior year, I’ve participated in Campus Clean-ups as part of Earth Club. It has made me realize that I am more willing to participate in volunteer activities if I did so as part of a group. I also like the idea that I’m participating in things that I know helps someone else or will make a difference. It has also made me realize that I don’t have that leadership of taking initiative in the sense that I’ll be the first person to sign up for activities, I need to be pushed — but I am working on developing more initiative.

Book Fair

I volunteered during the Book Fair at Barnes and Noble as part of Earth Club. There, we made bracelets and provided our meager but sincere face painting services. I’m shy and awkward and definitely avoid talking to strangers when I can, so this activity of talking to children and their parents has helped me become more comfortable talking to other people. And I really liked that I learned how to face paint.

What challenges have I been through?

Campus Clean-Up

Campus Clean-up is going around campus picking up trash on the ground. It was challenging to do this when other students who see us picking up trash would make rude or snide comments. Sometimes, there were times when they would just throw their trash on the ground when we’re nearby. It was irritating and humiliating, but I learned to ignore those type of things when they happen. As long as I know I’m doing good, I shouldn’t let things like that affect me.

Sharing Our Humanity

For Sharing Our Humanity, I had a strange challenge: finding time. For the meetings, I often had other plans, and so it was difficult to go to them, but I really wanted to be part of this my senior year, so I made time. Further, when we started making decorations (since I was part of that crew), other important events and occasions came during days we planned to work on them, so my time was even shortened. But I had already promised to help and I wanted to be part of this, so I found ways to work with my time, and I’m happy it all worked out in the end.

Camp Leader

I’ve been going to camp for the past several years, and this was my last year (2013), and my second year as a leader. It was a challenge in many ways because I had responsibilities to take care of the younger girls and plan activities. Part of my responsibility also included keeping track of the time, as the leaders created an itinerary of events that we wanted to do (as it would be pointless to go camping if all we did was just sit around and talk).

In what ways have I started new challenges?

Unity Fair

Being part of the Unity Fair was a new experience. I’ve never been very good with organization, and being part of the event has forced me to plan dates and who-brings-what and what other sort of signs and banners are needed. I also volunteered to pass out food in Asian Unity and was part of the traditional dance — things I’ve never done before.

Rose Parade

On Dec 26, I volunteered to help build the floats for the Rose Parade – my second year doing so. This year though, I decided to do something new and work on the higher areas of the float by getting on the scaffolding. Honestly, it was a little scary as all the scaffolding tended to move when one person moves only very slightly. But I enjoyed it nonetheless. It was a little hard to apply glue and cover the areas with all sorts of seeds, especially from a certain height and angle, but I did my best.

In what ways have I developed new skills?

Church Choir

For the months of September, October, November and December, I joined our church choir. It was a really rewarding experience from which I learned a lot. I had always liked signing, but being in choir had taught me a lot more about the nuances of it, what a ‘fermata” is, and the differences between soprano and alto (I used to think it was sopranos have higher voices, but “technically,” sopranos sing melody line while altos sing the deeper notes). I sang with other people of all ages, and it was a good experience being surrounded by people whose music is their life.
We perform in church, and occasionally we go Christmas caroling or singing for the elderly in their homes and communities. It helped me gain more confidence and an appreciation for music, as now I know you simply just don’t “sing” the melody line if you want it to be an interesting performance.

Camp Leader

This experience has taught me better time management, and most importantly, how to set up a tent properly. Our campsite this year was by the beach and as a result the winds were very strong. There were a few tents that were uprooted when a particularly strong gust of wind blew through. I learned that I needed to put rocks in the tent I was staying in so it wouldn’t fly off (along with, of course, hammering the nails deeply on the sand/soil ground).

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

Campus Clean-Up

I’ve been doing Campus Clean-ups since I was a freshman, and it really did take perseverance and commitment on my part to participate in it nearly every other week. Sometimes the weather is unfavorable or sometimes I feel that I have no time, but I try to come anyway because I like the idea that I’m doing some good within my own sphere of influence. It has been a rewarding experience.

Covina Christmas Parade

I volunteered to help out during the Covina Christmas Parade, and we were told to arrive there four hours before it even started to make sure things were going smoothly. I was essentially a “runner”- I was assigned to bring people to their destinations as indicated on the map I was given. Honestly, I didn’t feel like doing it at first because It seemed fairly easy and a less-than-great use of my eight hours– but I’m glad I did in the end. I performed my job, asked if I could do more to help out in the parade (they sent me to help out during parking) and I assisted with some of the floats. It was a great experience, making me see the effort everyone puts into these sorts of things– and I liked that I got to see all the floats afterwards.

Rose Parade

I kept on doing what I was assigned to do even though being up on the scaffolding was a little intimidating. Eventually, I got used to it and enjoyed climbing up and down the steps. The Rose Parade helped me appreciate the efforts everyone puts into making the event a success.

In what ways have I worked collaboratively?

Earth Club

Campus Clean-Up is an Earth Club activity — and its most effective when done in groups. There’ll be one or two who’ll pick up the trash, one who’ll mark up the clipboard and one who’ll carry the trash bag.

Unity Fair

Making the Unity Fair a success was a group effort. I worked with my fellow club members to set up our booth, prepare the food and banners, and in developing the traditional and modern dances.

Sharing Our Humanity

Sharing Our Humanity is a group effort, and working with other students to make the dinner happen was a good experience. There was a lot of delegation and specific responsibilities involved. This helped me become more responsible, knowing my actions would help or make things worse for the other people I was working with.

ASB

I’ve had the opportunity to help ASB make posters for the rallies and other similar activities (although I’m not really part of the class). I liked the experience, and it made me learn to work together as a group, because more often than not, the posters tend to be huge and so it takes a huge group effort to trace and draw and paint. And I learned that once you work on something for hours, people tend to start getting in a less-than-stellar mood, and so it was part of the experience to learn to be more understanding.

Camp Leader

The wonderful thing about camp was that it was a large group activity, including the planning. I worked with adult leaders and youth leaders my age on planning activities to make the younger girls feel welcome and have fun.

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

Campus Clean-Up

What I like about Campus Clean-ups is that its about making a difference in the world, starting with your own community. We’re always being taught to take care of our earth in any way we can, and this is a way that I do this.

Unity Fair

This Unity Fair was the most well-attended of the four that I’ve attended. It was great to see so much support for an activity that promotes appreciation and awareness of other cultures. It was also wonderful to see how much everyone cheered and clapped after every performance — it really developed this sense of unity.

Sharing Our Humanity

As part of Sharing Our Humanity, I had gained an even higher understanding of the lack of clean, drinking water in other parts of the world. Working to make the Sharing Our Humanity Dinner happen was rewarding to me because not only did I gain more knowledge, but all the donations would help support those organizations that provide clean water in Africa. It was a good feeling to know that I was part of something that would make a difference worldwide.

Unity Fair

I also had the recent opportunity to help in making the sign for the upcoming Unity Fair. it was a large sign that said “It’s A Small World” with drawing of little kids of several ethnicities. It was enjoyable and enlightening- I’ve gone to the past Unity Fairs but never got to be a part of making it happen. Being a part of it now gives me a nice feeling as I know that the purpose of the fair is to raise awareness and cultivate an appreciation for the food and art of other cultures.

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

Campus Clean-Up

I’ve learned something from being part of Campus Clean-ups. That is, it may not seem like I’m making a difference (it feels as though every week I pick up trash there’s more to replace it), but the important thing is that I’m doing something. Volunteering for a cause, though it may not seem like the biggest organization or being involved with a global group or something similar, is already important in and of itself.

Blankets of Love

I recently had the opportunity to participate in making blankets for blankets of love as part of Earth Club. We cut the material and tie them together. I enjoy the experience, not only because it is a nice skill to learn, but also, as I’m always reminded, we’re doing this as an act of love for those children having difficulties in the hospital. I know that every blanket we make will make someone happy, and that makes me appreciate even more what I have and makes me work with more heart on the blankets.

Camp Leader

Our Girls Camp is church-sponsored, and a large part of the activities is focused on getting girls to grow closer to God and his Son through nature. Many of the activities I helped plan is focused on spirituality and faith, and I learned a lot and was greatly inspired by the younger girls.

Creative 1/22/2013

The first day I volunteered for the Rose Parade floats in December, me and my friends worked on the Disney Cars float. We covered up the tires with black onion, and the people in charge were very particular that every little part have to be covered. Admittedly, I complained about how particular they were, but I realized that they worked hard to make the floats as beautiful and wonderful as they can. As a volunteer, I realized that I had to give my best too, as difficult and monotonous as that would get, because the float mattered a lot to others. The next day I came, me and my friends filled up vials with water by putting the vials in a bucket full of ice water. It was hard, but knowing that was what they would be putting the flowers on was rewarding enough.

Rose Parade 2012.jpg-large

Service 1/22/2013

Last August, I was one of the youth camp leaders for the week-long Girls Camp our church has annually. There was a lot more work than I had originally anticipated. Before the actual camp, the other leaders and I would meet several times a month over the summer to discuss the location, what activities we would have, and what ways we can make the girls in camp feel welcome and part of a family. We also had fundraisers, such as car washes, to help pay for the fees. The leaders would go to camp one day before the other girls and set up cabins. As a leader, I helped host activities. I was a leader with two others to the 11-12 year-old first-year campers, and it was part of my job to help them get over their homesickness and adjust to the camping experience. I also taught some fundamentals, such as properly tying a knot, how to start a fire for heat in the woods and do so safely and most importantly first-aid. Overall, it was a draining and difficult responsibility, as I had to study about the things I have to teach myself and have to always be aware of what’s going on in the camp place, but it was a great experience as it helped me understand the importance of work and preparedness, made me more knowledgeable and enabled me to bond with the girls in my care.

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