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Leadership through Service

by Shaina M.

I am 14-years-old and I attend a two year summer program called Breakthrough Saint Paul (BSP). This year is my third year which is known as the Breakthrough Leaders Program (BLP). The Breakthrough Leaders Program is meant for 9th graders that have gone through the two year program and only 14 students get through.

Breakthrough Leaders Program's main focus is leadership and one way we did that was by volunteering at a nearby care center. We walked from where BSP is held to the Ramsey County Care Center. All the residents there either have memory disabilities such as alzheimers or sever hearing problems or disabilities from strokes and the majority of the residents are in wheelchairs. When we arrived we split into groups, gathered people, and played bingo with them.

This experience was eye opening, but fun. It saddened me that the people I helped forgot what they agreed to be doing and where they were going. Bingo is my favorite game to play and it touched me to play it with the residents because I could see in their eyes that they were glad to have us around and taking our time to be with them. The two ladies I sat by were so amusing and funny, and it was really fun to hang out with them.

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