This year’s senior class has volunteered in a multitude of places, such as a Pennsylvania railroad museum, a horse stable and even a YMCA bathroom. Most enjoyed their volunteer experiences.
By AJ Gerardi
All seniors have to complete 60 hours of volunteer work if they want to graduate. This year’s senior class has volunteered in a multitude of places, such as a Pennsylvania railroad museum, a horse stable and even a YMCA bathroom. Most enjoyed their volunteer experiences. One hated it. Here are what four of them did.
CARING FOR DOGS
Roy McIlvaine spent his volunteer hours at the Providence Animal Center (PAC) in Media. “I go in, look at some puppies and dogs, and I choose a couple dogs and I walk them every now and then,” he said.
Roy volunteered at the PAC specifically, because that’s where he found his dog, a beagle named Caliber, three years ago.
He also wanted to volunteer there “because animals are a big part of a human’s life. Animals help people get through tough times. The fact that [the dogs] are in a shelter makes me feel sad. I want to be with them and be surrounded by them.”
Kyle Pennypacker was so invested in volunteering at the Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania in Strasburg, PA, that he willingly drove two hours round trip every day he attended. He found the opportunity online and completed all of his volunteer hours at the museum.
“I was essentially a teacher. The museum has a main exhibit hall, where we keep a lot of railroad equipment, and my role is to teach certain things at the museum.”
Kyle brings groups into a steam locomotive cab so they can observe the controls. He answers people's questions and gives information on what the controls do. “I’m a walking encyclopedia.”
He continued, saying, “It originally started as me wanting to get my hours in early, but it soon became something I really enjoyed — so much so, I [continue] to do it even after I finished my hours.”
Thomas Rebar enjoyed his volunteer experience a lot less.
“I did my volunteer hours at the YMCA. And I despised it,” he said quite bluntly.
This was notably because he had to lift heavy objects, install a washing machine and dryer, and he had a horrible time cleaning four or five separate YMCA bathrooms.
“It was not fun,” Thomas said.
CARING FOR HORSES
Clare Johnston contributes her volunteer hours at Thorncroft, a horse stable in Chester County. Her job is to get the horses ready by brushing them and putting on their saddle so little kids can ride them. She also walks the horses around with the kids on top for their enjoyment.
She was interested in horses in middle school and enjoyed Woodlynde’s horseback riding club. But in high school, she couldn’t continue the club since she got busy with sports.
Volunteering has let Clare continue her passion.
“It’s fun to be around horses or other animals,” Clare said. “And you get to help younger people who need help getting on horses.”