A live look the highschool students who I have been able to build relationship with and be a safe solid person in their life.

The picture above was taken right before we all went on a trip to Catalina Island. These boys go to Foothill high school in Tustin CA. This picture really encapsulates what I get to do and the type of impact I can bring. When I look at this picture, I l see that they aren’t worried about how they look, what other people are thinking about them, or any other worries a high school student has. I see a group excited to have fun, joke around, and spend time away from the stresses and hardships of high school. I see students trying to figure out what life has in store for them all while trying to put on the best face possible, as all of us did in high school.

My name is Daniel Futral, I am about to graduate this Spring! (2022) with a degree in Communication Studies and minor in Leadership, and this past semester I interned as a volunteer leader for Young Life.

This internship was 100% unpaid. I am not talking about an unpaid internship that sees how you fit in an organization and if they like what you have done then they keep you. I am talking about volunteer work. Young Life is a ministry that reaches out to students who may not be pursued by many people. We want every student to come to Young Life and feel like they belong and that they are loved.

I want to highlight the importance of volunteer work. In the last blog post I did about this organization I spoke more about the logistics of the internship. Now I want to talk about the value and importance of what volunteering does for the community and for your heart and soul. Even though I work full time, go to school full time, have an extensive social life, and am plugged in to my community, I still find time to volunteer. Most people when I talk to them say they are too busy to add another commitment into their schedule, but I have found this isn’t the case. Volunteering allows you to take a step back and do something for people that is bigger than yourself. It also is a very humbling experience. In being a communication studies and leadership major, we learn that leaders are much easier to follow when they are humble, and humility comes when you put the needs of others over your own. Volunteering is just that. You are choosing other peoples needs and time over your own. You are doing something for someone else hoping that they grow and better themselves all while you are doing a job that you don’t get paid for and that you commit a lot of time to.

Since I am graduating at the end of this term, I get the question of, “what are you doing after college?” “have you found a job yet?” “what career do you want?” though these questions are important and good to know, it really struck me that our society really gauges success around your career and job path. So with that being said, volunteering is very adverse to the way in which our society conditions us to be. Volunteering, especially with such a wonderful organization like Young Life really allows you to be apart of something bigger than yourself and do something for someone who has a need greater than your own.Now to speak specifically about serving for Young Life in Tustin. These boys are all juniors who play lacrosse for foothill high school. Young Life has allowed me to be apart of their lives though it is unlikely. I am a college student hanging out with high school kids. This may sound odd for a college student to be around a bunch of high schoolers, but you get an unparalleled ability to influence these students in a positive manner. You are older so you have wisdom, but you aren’t their parent. It is the perfect sweet spot to be able to just be their friend and mentor. Working with Young Life is great for communication majors as well! It takes a lot of interpersonal skills and the ability to understand to do well as a Young Life leader. You constantly have to use skills learned as a communication studies major to do this.

Picture with some members of Young Life

All in all, I think anyone going to a university and students who are trying to better themselves by getting educated should take the time to think what you can do for others. Working with Young Life is a perfect way to get involved and do something that will benefit your community. I hope after reading this it opens your eyes and peaks your interest on ways to go about your future.