Summer is for the beach and relaxing, but for senior Michael Lynch, summer was for volunteering. Lynch hoped to receive enough hours to qualify for the Bright Futures scholarship.
Before this summer, Lynch had never volunteered unless it was for honor societies or clubs that he was a part of, this left him with a summer full of catching up on Bright Futures hours.
“This summer has been jammed packed only with volunteering,” Lynch said. “I wish I started a little earlier but it turned out good because I got all my hours.”
Lynch found himself volunteering at his soccer club, FKK, and University Carillon United Methodist Church for a total of 116 hours, completing the community service aspect of the scholarship.
For seniors Erin Sprang and Kaitlin Reeves, procrastination was the main hurdle when it came to getting hours.
Sprang is currently volunteering at the Children’s Home Society since her mom works there. At CHS, they try to give underprivileged children opportunities to go to school and provide families with a supportive group.
Sprang works whenever she is available and helps out by organizing paperwork, cleaning out storage, and cutting out and gluing activities for the children. So far, Sprang has earned 32 hours and hopes to get the 68 remaining from there.
Reeves began the summer volunteering at the Winter Park Public Library and with the Seminole County Special Olympics.
She volunteers about five to eight hours a week cleaning picture books and tidying up teen and children’s areas while at the library and she teaches participants how to swim at Special Olympics.
As she continues to volunteer at those two places, she recently has started helping at the HOPE House Thrift store.
“I came in one day to drop off a donation, and realized that they needed help,” Reeves said. “Now I need about 50 more hours.”
At HOPE she sorts through clothes and other donations, as well as cleans and changes the store signs. Soon she’ll learn how to tag and price donated items.
For senior Amanda Wojtasiak, she didn’t know about Bright Futures hours until sophomore year.
“With homework, cross country, track and other extracurricular activities I couldn’t find the time to do it during the school year,”Wojtasiak said. “I travel a lot over the summer so it was hard to schedule hours at that time too.”
She has earned about 40 hours through the Seminole County Library by helping shelve and organize books, finding lexiles based on the grade level of the books, and helping sign children up for the summer reading program.
Wojtasiak also has received 16 hours from working with her mom at Partin Elementary organizing closets filled with books and games.
“[When I go] I usually like to do anything arts and crafts related like decorating rooms and organizing,” Wojtasiak said.
She does not think she will be able to get all of the hours required this summer but with the limited amount she has left, she is positive she will be able to accomplish it during school while volunteering at the library because it is easiest for her to schedule hours.
For seniors Veronica Heredia and Paige Purvis, they found the best place for hours was helping at ‘Star Camp’- a summer camp held at Forrest Preparatory School.
“Originally I had planned to get all of my hours done freshman year, but my life got so busy with volleyball that I just didn’t have as much time as I needed,” Purvis said. “Doing what I love for volunteer hours is amazing; I volunteer as much as I can.”
So far the two of them have gotten about 70-80 hours from the camp, but Heredia has also been working at Action Church teaching preschoolers Bible lessons, doing crafts and organizing games, giving her about 35 hours.
Although they get it accomplished, procrastination is the main cause as to why many incoming seniors wait until the last minute to receive their required hours for the Bright Futures scholarship.
“I always said that I’m going to volunteer here and there over the summers,” Heredia said. “It hit me in May that I do not really have anything but this last summer to volunteer.”
FOR MORE INFORMATION ON THE REQUIREMENTS OF THE BRIGHT FUTURE’S SCHOLARSHIP CLICK THE IMAGE BELOW