By Ryker Wakeley

If there was one word to describe the Action Team, it would have to be “family.” The people you meet and the experiences you have all build upon who you are, and the Action Team is there to help facilitate that growth — much like a family would.

I’ve graduated now, but I served on the Action Team for four years Glacier Peak High School and have begun to understand the ways it helped shape me. The Action Team is an amazing way to train yourself to become a leader. I want to emphasize the phrase train yourself because you can only get out of the Action Team what you are willing to put in.

When I walked into the Everett Volunteers of America building as an awkward, shy freshman back in 2012, I had no idea that the Action Team would break me out of my shell. I would never have dreamed that I went from pushing myself to show up to leading volunteer events. The more time I put into the Action Team, the more rewarding the outcome was for me.

Of course, you might be training yourself, but that doesn’t mean there won’t friendly faces to help you along. The Action Team coordinator may have shifted a couple of times while I was there, but all three were great people dedicated to helping the captains, including me, learn about leadership and community service. Additionally, older, experienced captains set an example with their enthusiasm and interest in the community. By my third year in the Action Team, I realized it was my turn to be setting the example. Soon, it was me that was leading the charge on big events that required a lot of participation.

Overall, the Action Team is a great vehicle for meeting new people and learning through new experiences. The friends you make along the way are apt to stick with you for a long time after you graduate.

I’d recommend the Action Team for people looking to make an impact; whether it’s in your community, in your school, or even within yourself. And who knows, if you’re a student interested in the King County Action Team, we might just run into each other.