Brogan McCutcheon, senior at Springdale High School.

Recently, I was graciously given a reward for community service from The Challenge Program. I was honored to get this the day of the event, and I am very appreciative of everything that this program stands for.

For over 4 years I have worked as a volunteer for Fun and Freedom Youth Sports Inc. This organization does so much for this area and I am just proud to be a part of it. First, I work for their week-long sports Day Camp. I get to pour into dozens of campers for an entire week, positively impacting the rest of their summer. I also work for their Natrona outreach. In the town of Natrona, there’s an endless number of underprivileged kids. I volunteer Saturdays in the summer to work with them and have fun, once again using the platform of sports. And in December, I volunteer at a Christmas party for these kids. For most of them, it is the closest thing to Christmas they will ever get. Lastly, I am a volunteer referee for a 3-on-3 basketball tournament that Fun and Freedom hosts every year.

Moving on from Fun and Freedom, I help with multiple organizations throughout the year. For the Lions Club, I participate as their mascot for special occasions, as well as stuffing envelopes and Easter eggs at multiple meetings throughout the year. I was even the Student of the Month for January of 2018, an honor given to me by the club itself. Furthermore, I am active in my youth group, Nexus Student Ministries. I have served on staff helping with their junior high students on Wednesday nights, as well as attending on Sunday nights for myself with the senior high students. I have also worked with Nova Chemicals for their “Hard to Recycle” event, which serves as a way for people in the area to get rid of large bulky items that are, fittingly enough, “Hard to Recycle”.

These organizations are run by people who want to help others, and I believe that this is a desire that we all, as humans, should have. When I was younger, my parents took me to different places to help volunteer, and while I enjoyed doing it, I had no choice. However, because I was raised this way, I now recognize the impact that volunteering can have on a community. I have since then tried to work with these organizations on my own. Volunteering is now my decision, and I am grateful to my parents for showing me that I can have fun while doing it.

The Challenge Program is a program that believes in the same things as these companies do, and they offer incentives for students to be the best they can be. There are multiple awards that can be viewed as reasons to volunteer in the community, or to have great attendance, or to improve in school and many other things. I know for a fact that if some students in my school were given just the slightest nudge in the right direction, they could maximize their potential, and be the best version of themselves. I truly believe that the Challenge Program is that nudge, and I am thankful for everything it has done for myself, and my school.