“Community” is a word that means different things to different people. For us, it’s at the heart of where we live, learn, work, and play – and it centers around people: students, teachers, mentors, business owners and faith leaders. While we’re only teenagers in high school, we’re finding our way to help make Orlando the best community for all. And now we want to challenge others to do the same.
I’m Desiree Moore, 17, an 11th grader at Orlando Science High School and I want to pursue a career in healthcare, either as a surgeon or clinical psychologist.
I’m Yvanuse Jacquet, a 16-year-old 9th grader at Jones High School. I hope to play college basketball and eventually start an organization like Frontline Innovation Studios (FIS), which has been serving Orlando’s urban youth for more than 50 years by focusing on leadership, teamwork, entrepreneurship, academics and innovation.
Frontline is where we met – and it’s a nonprofit community resource where involvement can make a major impact.
Through a project-based, after-school learning program, Frontline is helping us develop the skills and character to be successful in life – and it’s shaping us into the people we are today.
We’re now being given the opportunity to give back to the organization that has given us so much by serving as volunteer mentors to other students here and sharing what we’ve learned. We help them celebrate successes – like earning good grades, scoring the game’s winning point, or solving a complex problem – and offer support when things aren’t working in their favor.
Despite the fact that all of us have different backgrounds and outlooks on life, we see the positive outcomes that come from listening to each other, encouraging new ideas and respecting others’ opinions.
That’s the power of volunteerism – and what we do at FIS is just one example.
May is Community Action Month, a time dedicated to raising awareness about the impact of serving others. We can all do something that makes a difference in our community – no matter our age.
Not sure where or how to start? Look within. What issues matter the most to you? Equitable education opportunities? Affordable housing and healthcare?
Then look around. Orlando’s nonprofit community offers many opportunities to get involved – so we encourage you to research what these groups need most: time, talent, financial support, and awareness.
Finally, put your passion to work for the organization that aligns best with your interests and values … because when you take action, you change lives. And that makes a better, stronger community for all of us.