Essay by PaperNerd ContributorCollege, Undergraduate April 2001

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I enjoy the presence of kids because it gives me more than I can ever ask for. I also enjoy helping others learn.

I am an avid reader and I used to go to the Arcadia Public Library every weekend for 3 years straight.

I made friends there with a girl named Cynthia. She worked there every Saturday and I used to ask her how she got her position as a volunteer. She happened to be three years older than I and she said that I was too young to be of any help. After asking her the same question incessantly for two years straight, she finally took me to the front counter to sign up as a summer volunteer at the library. The process was to turn in the application and to schedule for an interview. They must have liked the way my voice wavered because I got in! I was so happy I couldn't sleep if my life depended on it.

My first taste of volunteering got me hooked. The experience was more than I could have ever anticipate. I was expecting only to help kids, but it turned out that I had many more advantages. I spent more than eight weeks and 120 hours volunteering and it was all worth it. Everyday I came home with an exhausted limp body but I also came home with a smile. I made countless friends whom I still keep in contact today. I learned basic skills in filing, shelving, answering the phone, and making crafts. Learning the following made me more adequate in certain areas, but the greatest reward of all was to have kids smile at me and say hi to me whenever they were at the library. I felt that, in some way, I shaped a part of...