This month’s Volunteer Spotlight belongs to one of our outstanding youth volunteers, Sherley Guerrier. Sherley, who began volunteering with HandsOn Broward in 2011, was a member of our Youth Leadership Academy and Digital Connectors program this year. Sherley originally began volunteering to fulfill her high school service hour requirement, but she didn’t stop there. She even received a college scholarship because of her commitment to community service.
“At first my only motivation was to graduate, and I needed something to do in my spare time. The minimum requirement of community service hours to graduate was 40. I reached my minimum requirements for school, but I did not stop volunteering. To see someone who may not have a family, home, food, a job or any of the things we take for granted really effects your thoughts on life. I get a sense that I helped someone and that feeling will never die for me,” Sherley said.
Through her school, Sherley heard about HandsOn Broward and decided to seek out volunteer projects through our organization.
She said, “I heard about HandsOn Broward when it was referred to as Volunteer Broward from my high school. It was my 10th grade year and our class was having an assembly to go over graduation requirements when they passed out a flyer that said Volunteer Broward. Ever since I went to my new volunteer orientation it was love at first sight… HandsOn Broward and I have been inseparable ever since.”
Sherley has volunteered at a wide variety of projects over the years, from Snyder Park to FLIPANY to the Ronald McDonald House. Her favorite projects, though, involved feeding programs for the hungry and homeless.
“I would have to say out of the variety I have experienced my favorite was feeding the homeless at Cooperative Feeding and at First Congregational. There’s nothing like seeing someone get the basic nutrition or essentials they need. Giving time to those specific projects gave me the utmost joy. In fact, over one summer my sister and I would feed the homeless 3 times a week every week,” Sherley said.
After over a year of volunteering at tons of different projects, Sherley became involved in two of our teen programs – the Youth Leadership Academy and Digital Connectors.
Of the Youth Leadership Academy, Sherley said, “Incorporating leadership lessons and being able to practice them by leading the Kids Care Club was a great opportunity for us to exercise our new skills. I learned new things about leadership that I never knew. I encourage anyone who is 18 and under to apply for this [program]. You will be surprised at the opportunities that will be within your reach just through giving your time.”
Sherley is about to graduate from high school, and she just found out that she was accepted to Spelman College with a full scholarship thanks to her dedication to service.
“Volunteering can take you a long way! If someone were to tell me I was going to receive a scholarship for volunteering I would’ve brushed it off. Due to my consistent community service I was able to receive a full scholarship under the conditions of maintaining my academics and, of course, continuing to serve my community from Spelman College in Atlanta, Georgia,” Sherley said.
She said she couldn’t have done it without HandsOn Broward. “I thank HandsOn Broward so much. Without the access to their volunteer projects I would not be able to accumulate over 700 community service hours and receive this amazing scholarship.”
When asked what advice she has for new volunteers, Sherley said, “Just go for it! The projects you sign up for may be out of your comfort or knowledge zone, but in order to grow as an individual you’re going to need to push yourself beyond the norm for you.”
Congratulations, Sherley! We cannot thank you enough and we are going to miss you.