Many students would get the required 10 volunteer hours. Rachel Hobbs, eighth grade vocal major, received a total of 300 hours of community service hours instead of the 10 through Urban Youth Impact volunteering.
“Even if it’s a small thing like reading to a kid for 30 minutes every week, it can really make a difference,” Hobbs said.
Hobbs’ father founded Urban Youth Impact, an afterschool program in West Palm Beach for students K-8 that helped them with reading and the arts.
“I think it’s a great cause because reading is just so important to succeed in life so you can get a good job and not live on the streets,” Hobbs said.
She volunteered mostly on Fridays from 3:30 to 5:30 p.m. and assisted at events the program had.
“It’s just a great experience because all the staff are really great, they really believe in the whole mission which is to love, equip, and empower,” Hobbs said.
One such event that Hobbs volunteered for was the Christmas Store event where parents were able to get a free shopping experience and get their children gifts if they could not afford them. She volunteered to watch after the kids as the parents shopped and she was buddied with a child who spoke mostly Spanish.
“I had to kind of learn Spanish on the spot with my phone and I thought it was going to be really difficult to understand her but we really built such a bond in the hour and a half I had with her,” Hobbs said.
She recalled the time spent with the girl as memorable because that despite their inability to communicate much, they were able to understand the situation. Volunteering experiences like those impacted her life in many ways.
“It really opens my eyes to see not everyone has the same opportunities,” Hobbs said, “but still have the same talent as anyone else.”