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by Joy Mizrahi

            Community service is very important to me. This is why I spent my summer in a challenging course to become certified as an EMT on our town’s first aid squad. As a volunteer EMT, I spend countless hours with the first aid squad responding to 911 emergency calls. As the Cadet Sergeant, I also spend many hours training other cadets and helping to keep the cadet squad running at its best. One thing that this volunteer experience has taught me is the ability to see the world in a different way. I get the chance to see all aspects of the community and help as much as I can. There is nothing more rewarding than helping someone in his or her time of need out of the goodness of my heart. Another thing I’ve learned through my experience as a volunteer EMT is the ability to face real world problems, which also helps my decision-making skills. I have the opportunity to see the effects of people’s poor decisions first-hand, such as when I responded to a first aid call for a motor vehicle accident involving a driver under the influence of alcohol or when I responded to a call for a teenager who was not wearing a helmet while using his pogo stick. This has helped me to learn that people must think before they act.

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          Community service can also help to bring the community together, including people of all ages and economic classes. My experience with community service has also helped me to learn to work as a team. When I am on first aid calls, my crew members and I must work together to perform tasks that can literally save a life if we work together, such as performing CPR. Additionally, my community service experience has taught me the importance of responsibility. For example, when someone calls 911, we must respond the emergency as quickly as possible, so it always important to be on time to first aid. Furthermore, my experience with community service has taught me compassion and understanding. I see what problems people face and I see people at their worst times. This helps teach me to be an understanding person because you never know what people are truly going through. Another thing I have learned from my experience with community service is the importance of selflessness and caring about others. My volunteer experience helped me to understand that I do not have to do things in life just to get something back for my own benefit. Just knowing that I am helping someone in their time of need is rewarding enough, and I just want to do things to help others as much as I can. Community service is important not only to benefit the community, but also to teach the individual valuable life lessons.