OKEECHOBEE — Our Village Okeechobee invited students of the Class of 2020 to participate in an essay contest if they were in the top ten, not academically but for community service hours. Our Village embodies community service and we felt it was important to recognize students who gave back to our community while attending high school.
Cody Deloney, the second winner, had 334 community service hours recorded. He plans to continue his education at Indian River State College. Cody will work toward his Associate in Science Degree in agriculture followed by his bachelor’s degree in education. Cody reports always having a passion to help others and knows that part of what defines his future is to continue to serve our community as long as he is blessed to volunteer.
His winning essay is below. Cody wrote:
“What value does community service work have? I feel community service is important and beneficial to the community and everyone that lives in it. Community service has a positive and lasting impact on our society, and there is so much we can learn by volunteering. Sit back, relax and let me explain how community service has given me knowledge, built my character, and why I think it is simply the right thing to do.
“I have gained a lot of knowledge while serving my community. I have had the opportunity to work with younger children, Senior Services and animals. Many of my hours I completed through 4-H/FFA, wrestling and the sheriff’s office. This helped me discover my love for agriculture and teaching. I enjoy working with others and helping them learn. I have helped local youth by attending their 4-H clinics to help them with showmanship skills and how to feed and care for their market or breeding projects. I have also coached the youth during the summer wrestling camps.
Community service builds character, it has definitely helped to build mine. It has taught me responsibility, discipline and how to work with others. I have also become a stronger leader. Volunteering is a choice, no one makes you do it. I enjoy it and want to continue doing it. I believe I am a better person today because of my experiences. I have spent many hours at the nursing home, helping the wrestling club and 4-H camp. The feeling I get by helping others is indescribable. I know that I am helping them, but I feel they are helping me more.
“There are many things that are considered the ‘right thing to do,’ for me community service is at the top of the list. When you volunteer you get to meet new people and you become more active in your community. You also become an example to others. You may help influence others because they see you doing it. It only takes one person to make a difference, we should all want to strive to be that one person.
“I have been involved with my community and different community service activities since I was 6. I am blessed to have been able to meet and work with so many different people and their unique situations. I want to continue to help and teach others throughout my college years and into my future career. I want to show others the way just like so many have helped and shown me. I am determined to make a difference!”