Time can get away from you when you’re having fun.
A Monterey student is being recognized for completing an additional 100 hours of volunteer work as part of her school’s athletic leadership program.
After having set the goal for herself at the beginning of the school year, Samara Piercy didn’t realize she had hit her 100-hour mark during the end of May, simply because she was having fun volunteering.
“I really wanted to get that high (amount of hours) and I’m really happy that I did, ‘cause I feel like I’ve accomplished something,” the 13-year-old said.
The program, which currently consists of 21 students, has students assist with the school’s athletic department’s duties, such as organizing athletic equipment, cleaning the gym, and teaching physical education classes to lower grades.
Samara heard about a previous student who had reached 75 additional hours and she wanted to top it.
“I ended up getting up to 100 (hours) but I didn’t really know it at the time,” she said.
“It was fun. It was a good learning experience, definitely harder than I thought.”
Students apply for the program prior to starting Grade 8 and must meet minimum requirements. They are rewarded for any additional hours they complete.
“The leadership students make the athletic department in the school run. … They’re the ones that really help the P.E. and the department work,” said Karen Evans, the athletic director at Monterey, who runs the program.
Students are also taught a variety of skills, ranging from scoring games to first aid.
Samara applied for the program because she thought it would be “something fun to do.” She was also looking for a way to become involved at the school.
“I feel like people appreciate the stuff that we do,” she said. “I like working with people and I’m kind of like a people person.”
Samara is actively involved in sports, both inside and outside of school, she said. Her favourite sport is basketball.
She also co-teaches a lunch-time dance class twice a week at Monterey.
Accomplishing her goal makes Samara the first student from the program, which Evans started three years ago, to reach 100 hours.
“She’s gone well over the top of exceeding the requirements,” Evans said of Samara. “She’s really enjoyed it. I know this is one of the reasons she’s thrilled about being in Grade 8, is being part of this program.”
Students who complete the program take away a sense of responsibility and understanding of how the school works, as well as the feeling that “they are a part of making the school go around,” Evans said.
Taking her experiences from the leadership program, Samara said she plans to get involved at Oak Bay High next year, where she will be entering Grade 9.
“I definitely want to be a part of the school next year as well. I want to be helpful,” she said.
Her advice to students entering Grade 8 at Monterey: “It doesn’t matter (if you’re athletic) … even if you just want to be a part of the school, it’s always good to do that and just get involved.”