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Rant & Rave

By Adrienne Fong

Tuesday, April 11, 2000

Help your future
and lend a hand

IF you're worried about the college apps looming in your future, and you're not as good a guesser as those who score 1600 on SATs, keep reading!

The supreme beings on college admissions boards will be dazzled once they see your resume of volunteer work. These adults will believe you gained from the experience skills in leadership, organization, interaction and communication. It may be just the thing that gives you an edge over the eggheads.

Even if you don't care about college (maybe you're just going to start your own business and surpass Bill Gates or Steve Case in earning power), volunteering will still be a huge benefit for you, especially during summer vacation.

Think about it: experience gained from doing computer work may just help you jumpstart your high-tech future. Someone has to find the bugs in all those computer games, and besides, you owe your skin a little break from the sun and the beach.

NO matter how involved (or not) you are in volunteering, a new experience might help ensure your bright future. You'll feel a sense of pride and accomplishment from mastering the lowly postage meter or helping someone with fewer advantages than you.

As for me, the perfect opportunity came one day in homeroom, as I was listening to class announcements. A place called Assistive Technology Resource Centers of Hawaii was looking for volunteers.

With a name like that, who would have any idea what they did? Curiosity got the better of me, and soon I found myself volunteering with kids on a Saturday at the All-Star Sports and Therapy Center.

For me, this is the perfect place to volunteer. I get to play outdoor games, watch movies, or play video games with kids, help them log on to the Internet, or just -- thankfully -- lounge on sofas.

All right, working with kids may not be your idea of fun. You owe it to yourself to look around for other agencies that could make use of your unique talents. There may be one awesome position waiting for you.

SURELY, helping out is worth including in your busy schedule. Many people make the excuse that they have no free time due to slave-driving teachers.

Sorry, you can't use that excuse! Many agencies require little more than an hour every week.

The difficulty is in finding a match for your particular skills, but the 2000 Teen Volunteer makes it easy. The fair is a one-stop shopping place for that perfect volunteer experience.

The event takes place 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday at Maemae Elementary School Cafeteria, 319 Wyllie St., in Nuuanu.

At the fair, youth volunteers from nonprofit agencies from all over the island will be on hand to answer questions about being a volunteer, where to volunteer, what the volunteer positions are like and what the requirements are.

The fair workers will have listings of hundreds of volunteer jobs available for teens, and will also be able to tell you all about that gushy, good feeling that comes after helping others.

To sign up to volunteer, call 956-2703 or email

Adrienne Fong is a junior at Iolani School. In celebration of National Volunteer Month, she is organizing the 2000 Teen Volunteer Fair. In addition to helping the ATRC, Adrienne is a seasoned volunteer for River of Life Mission, Hospice Hawaii Bereavement Camp and the Girl Scouts.

Rant & Rave is a Tuesday Star-Bulletin feature
allowing those 12 to 22 to serve up fresh perspectives.
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