I’ve been thinking a lot lately about all the different opportunities buildOn provides for youth. After 4 weeks of summer programming (covering Global Education, Service, Sponsorship, and of course, FUN!), I have quite an extensive list. However, I think one of the most important values that I try to instill in the fabulous students that I work with, is HARD WORK. Life isn’t always easy. School can be challenging. Friends and family can be frustrating. But, if you know how to work hard, you know how to persevere.
With all the service that we do in our communities- both locally and globally- my heart can’t help but melt when I see students dive in, get dirty, and make a difference. A common misconception among many people (not just students) is that hard work is easy. Hard work is hard, but with a big heart anything is possible.
Hard work often involves sweat, exhaustion, pushing yourself beyond what you thought you could do. On our latest service adventure, I saw my student do just that. Not a day went by where we weren’t sweaty, hot, filthy, and tired. They worked as a team, and they worked hard. On our last day, I couldn’t help but ask them, “Why? Why do you work hard?” Here is part of what they said…
“Because I knew I had the opportunity to do something new and inspirational..”
“I know I would want someone to work hard on something that was important for me (like a house or school), and I’m sure the people in need would feel the same way…”
“I worked hard because I wanted to show that I could work as hard as I possibly can in any weather or any place.”
“I think every community should have the basics…this experience (although very painful and physically/mentally draining) was amazing and I wouldn’t take it back fro anything.”
“I put all of my heart and my strength to make my work look great, so that the people who will receive the good of my work will be proud to know that a determined person did that for them.”
“I felt I couldn’t give up because I wouldn’t want anyone to give up on something I needed.”