What Voices of Youth Internship Taught Me

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Andrew VOY
Member since December 5, 2015
  • 11 Posts
  • Age 25

How I Got Here

Back in the day, I used to be a volunteer for a NGO that supported children with cancer.

Peeling potatoes, making phone calls, helping with cleaning duties and playing with the children used to be my usual day.

During my very first visit to this NGO, I saw a music class happening. A girl was playing the piano so wonderfully, the melody was great.

When I come to think about it, that moment was perhaps when I chose to become a volunteer - right there.

It always surprised me how the children would suffer far less emotionally than their parents - how innocence shielded them from the harm of reality.

To them, life is a gift. Everything is new and everything brings happiness, and thus, no second is ever wasted. It is like we are born full of happiness and gradually lose our way.

One day, I was making phones calls to local business owners, hoping to receive contributions for the NGO.

That day I received far more negative answers than any time before - but I knew that tomorrow there would be music class and so it would be a great day anyhow.

As it turned out, there was no class. Instead I saw that girl’s family at the psychologist’s room...it was enough to understand what had happened.

That was when I realized how our work can mean life or death to others, and how ultimately no money in this world can bring back a loved one.

With this realization, I eventually stumbled upon the Voices of Youth internship.

What I’ve Learned

Over the months the VOY internship presented itself as both, a challenge and a comfort. You have the comfort of receiving very attentive and comprehensive feedback, as well as a very warm and open minded community to guide you. At the same time, you’re challenged to manage yourself, put your ideas on paper, and try new writing styles.

It is certainly rewarding in many ways too: the opportunity to create social impact, the comments from the viewers and so on. I grew a lot in terms of critical sense and written communication over the course of the internship, but I also learned that my development was only as big as the effort I put in.

Where I’m Going

Writing is one way to bring social change, but certainly not the only one. In a sense, we are the journalists of our lives. We write our own history, day by day, and the purpose we give to our existence is the message that we leave to this world. This is true for journalism as it is for life.

As for me, I’ll keep writing my history, regardless of the way.

The VOY internship is definitely an experience that I will miss, but just like anything else in life, the hardest part of ending is starting again.

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