April Project Leader Spotlight: Zaid Sheikh

Q: How did you hear about HandsOn Broward?
A:Originally I was volunteering with Hands on Miami, which I heard about from one of my friends at FIU. After searching a little bit I came across the website for HandsOn Broward. I eventually came over to HandsOn Broward after Hands on Miami’s programming was suspended. HandsOn Broward was a perfect volunteer organization for me because it had a wide range of opportunities in areas all across South Florida.

Q:How has volunteering impacted your personal/professional goals?
A: Volunteering has taught me the importance of being involved in a community. After volunteering with HandsOn Broward and other volunteer agencies my understanding of society has been greatly impacted. I’ve realized the importance of society as a whole, something which you cannot learn until you have experienced it. Because of this, volunteering has made me want to become more involved in an organization which holds a common goal in mind, the betterment of a community. This has also had a direct impact on my professional goals because I’ve realized that the mindset you have while volunteering shouldn’t end once the project is over. You should carry this same altruistic attitude throughout everything else in life. That’s why I would like the career I pursue to give me the ability to give back to the community both directly and indirectly.

Q:Any advice for new volunteers?
A:My advice to new volunteers would be to volunteer not as a favor to others but as a favor to yourself. Because there is such a great opportunity to learn while volunteering, it gives you something which you can take away from and use throughout your life. When picking an area to volunteer in try doing something that you’re interested in. Because the opportunities are limitless anybody can find a category in which they’ll be able to help out and enjoy themselves in the process.

Q:What made you want to take the next step and becoming a Project Leader?
A: What made me want to become a project leader was a realization that I needed to further develop my quality of leadership. While everyone probably has displayed leadership qualities at one point or another in their life, becoming a volunteer leader instills in you a certain level of confidence. With this position I would be able to organize projects, help direct volunteers, gain others trust, and become someone who others could rely on. In short, if you were looking for an efficient way to train your qualities of leadership, becoming a project leader at an organization such as HandsOn Broward, would be a great place to start. After you’ve successfully honed these skills, it would become second nature to help out the community on a mass scale dealing with a wide variety of people and events.

Q: Why would you recommend becoming a Project Leader to other volunteers?
A: I’d recommend becoming a project leader for the mere fact that it makes you more involved with the project. With projects such as the ones as HandsOn Broward, the more you put into them is the more you get out of them. With the position you have the ability to see the event from a different perspective. You kind of work “behind the scenes” for a large portion of the project leader position. This helps you build those skills which can become essential later in life and allows you to work on different aspects of the project that you may have never even thought of as a volunteer. Again, this only brings positive results as you learn, help people in need, and gain a tremendous amount.

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April Volunteer Spotlight: Billy Wells

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It was through a simple online search that Billy Wells discovered HandsOn Broward and began volunteering with us. He is “really glad to have found an easy way to get out and volunteer” and explains the impact that volunteering has on his personal feelings of community and selflessness. As part of a New Year’s resolution to get more involved in the community, he got started by attending an event at Markham park and looks forward to continuing with us at least once a month. (Having two-year old twin girls takes up a lot of his time but who could blame him, they’re adorable!)

He explains that volunteering helps him meet a need to be doing something productive and worthwhile with his free time as well as provides him an opportunity to focus on the needs of others and get away from the daily grind. For new volunteers, he recommends getting out of your comfort zone and trying new/different things that you normally wouldn’t.

Thanks, Billy, for being so inspiring and dedicated to service!

-The HandsOn Broward Team.