Monday, November 5, 2007

Talking about volunteering

I've been asked to talk to a group of high school seniors tomorrow morning about my work with the Humane Society. A private school in my community has a program called the Senior Lecture Series - A Sense of Place. One of the components is learning about community and service. They have a speaker come in on Sunday evening and then on Monday, they go out in groups to meet with various community members who are vested in the non-profit outreach sector. They are scheduled to visit the animal shelter and the shelter manager will give them a tour and talk to them about what we do and why it's needed. The focus of my talk will be more of a personal approach about why I got involved and what made it "click."

This is the gist of what I'm going to talk about.

Finding what you are "passionate" about
Early volunteer experiences
The "click" of how I got involved in animal stuff
Why it's rewarding to me (my convictions)
No cause is "better" than another one
Do the kind of work you enjoy
Levels of involvement and life stages
The danger of burnout and importance of balance and sustainability
Fulfill your commitments, but you choose them, and you get to pick, because it's volunteer work!

I don't know if this will be too long-- I might run out of time. It might be over their heads. I'm hoping to make it conversational and that I will notice if their eyes glaze over. I've never talked to a group of high school students before.

3 comments:

jimann@bellsouth.net said...

Pat, I don't think you will go over their heads. The seniors kind of dread the lectures because of the lecturers being too windy.
They love humor.
They love your kind of honesty and ironic wit, and
they love being loved.
Please - take off work for an hour and sit in on a class for a bit - half the class is seniors and they are working on big paintings so I don't lecture or anything - its an easy-going, fun group - you could scope them out and ask what they would like to hear (they are all animal lovers).
The class meets on Wed (1:15 - 2:45) or Fri at 10:15 - 11:45.
This would do a lot for you in terms of self-confidence - you might wind up actually looking forward to talking to them in the lecture format, which would be optimum.

Besto, Jim Ann

jimann@bellsouth.net said...

ps - Oops - the lecturers would be windy, not the lectures, and it is MY class I am inviting you to attend.

jimann@bellsouth.net said...

pps. I need new glasses.