My BFF Julia Barnes forwarded me info about The LAMP back in early spring. I was excited about their mission to spread media literacy to kids and their parents, so I reached out to DC and Katherine about helping out. Lucky for me, their latest initiative was a summer camp program and so I dove into contributing ideas for projects and discussions.
When I arrived early Monday morning at PS10 in Park Slope, I wasn’t sure what to expect but we ended up with a large (and awesome) group of young people. We’ve been having fun learning about media literacy and gender issues.
Yesterday I spoke to the group about my work at MTV News and shared info about how students can prepare themselves for a career in media, for all screens. This was my first time speaking to a group of young people about my job and it felt good to share information that I wish someone would have shared with me when I was a teen.
I handed out my moo.com-designed business cards to all the campers who wanted one. I think it’s important for kids to have access to mentors and to adults who are willing to listen to them and encourage their creativity. My simple solution was to just give them info about my website, how to contact me and to let them know they can ask me anything they want.
Tomorrow is the last day of the camp and we’ll be editing the videos that our groups have been working on. I haven’t been up so early in the morning in years and it’s been a challenge to find the energy to keep up with the kids and maintain a full time job, but everything is working out so far.
My little sister through Big Brothers Big Sisters is going away to college in the fall. We have been meeting to have lunch, go to the movies and to just talk about life since 2006. I’ve learned so much from participating in the BBBS mentor program and my relationship with my little means a lot to me.
Now that I’ll have a little bit of extra free time, I think I am going to contribute to more projects with The LAMP in the future, beyond the summer camp.
The reasons why I volunteer and use my precious free time to help out with pro-social projects are actually very selfish ones:
It makes me feel good and helps me to put life into perspective. There are also many unforeseeable benefits to volunteering that it almost feels like I am the one who makes out like a bandit.
It seems like I get back so much more than I am giving, which inspires me to give more.
I don’t see myself one of those people who is always taking up a cause, but I guess if I had a “cause” it would be youth activism through media literacy – supporting young people in achieving their goals.
I still have free time left to do things with friends so it’s not that serious. When something is important to you, there is always a way to find time to do it.