My name is Shawna Fugate. I graduated with academic honors from Triton Central High School. I am a Lilly Endowment Scholar recipient of Shelby County. Currently, I am finishing up my junior year at the IU School of Social Work. I feel that I have accomplished many goals thus far, and I can honestly say Girls Incorporated of Shelby County has had a major impact on my life. Girls Inc. has provided me with many opportunities originating from my first day there when I was six years old. At such a young age, Girls Inc. instilled many important values in me that every girl should have. Girls Inc. taught me to be strong, smart, and bold
When I was in high school I really felt the need to give back to Girls Inc, as the staff and its volunteers had done so much for me. I decided to volunteer a couple times a week after school. It was honestly one of the most rewarding things I have done. I loved working with the girls on activities. I really enjoyed taking them to the gym and teaching them different games such as knockout, around the world, and so on. I even was excited to help them with their homework. Being able to watch the girls learn and grow was an amazing experience. Every time I left Girls Inc to go home I would think to myself, “I hope I am as good of an influence for these girls as past staff members and volunteers of Girls Inc were for me.” I like to think that I did a good job and was a great influence.
Girls Inc was not the only place I did volunteer work at; however, for me personally, it was the most rewarding volunteer work I have ever done. This was because it was something I truly cared about and felt connected to. When volunteering it is important that you choose something you care about. It will be more rewarding. More importantly, I have to come to the realization that while volunteering helps the population, community, or agency you are volunteering at, it benefits you as a person as well. Volunteering is rewarding on its own. Knowing that I helped make a difference at Girls Inc empowers me and allows me to feel that I can truly help inspire others and make a difference in the world. I would encourage everyone to go out in their community and get involved with something that you care about, and volunteer! “Be the change you want to see in the world.”- Mahatma Gandhi