by Olivia Wyland ’19 (Seton House)
Twelve years of Catholic school has taught me about the influence of service, which has been especially emphasized at Trinity. I have always followed the mission statements beyond the minimum requirements. The mission statements provide a queue for me to express myself through service. To me, service can be something that I look forward to participating in. This is why I created my own service project which earned me a Girl Scout Gold Award.
Freshman year, I started my Gold Award project for Girl Scouts which was to bring the joy of music to the elderly. Each month, I went to Country Meadows Nursing Home with my prepared song sheets, and as I played the piano, I led the residents in song. The citizens of the nursing home were looking for new activities to liven up their routines, so I decided to create this music program for them. I adapted as I went, noting each person’s interests, in order to make their time with me pleasant. Selfishly, it is great practice for my music. In terms of service, it has become my goal to spend time with those who are what I refer to as “the forgotten”. Society has put them someplace to simply pass time. My job, as I see it, is to make that time valuable.
During the process of completing the project, I invited two other local Girl Scout troops to participate in a music session. They both attended a session, passing out song sheets and cookies, and smiling all the way through the songs. Afterward, I let them know that my project would be available to continue on when I go off to college. I will also leave behind a binder full of information explaining the project, all the project details, plus the favorite songs and games of each resident.
My service project is mobile. There will always be nursing homes, no matter where I live. From service clubs to my own projects, volunteering is part of my character and will continue regardless of locale. As I branch out from high school into adulthood, I will always keep the part of me that loves to influence others positively through service. It just took a little push from Trinity’s mission statement and service requirement to make me realize that service is an experience through which you learn about yourself as well as others in a beautiful way.