My name is Nora Burns, and I was an Action Team Captain at York High School in York, Maine before graduating last spring.  I initially joined the Action Team to discover volunteering opportunities in my community. I had already been volunteering for our local hospital, but I wanted to do more.

As I look back on my three years in the Action Team, I can say it was the most rewarding experience I had over my whole high school career. It brought out the best in me and showed me what I can be.  Not only have I developed leadership and teamwork skills, but I have been able to create wonderful and lifelong relationships.

Once a week I take care of an elderly woman and spend a few hours with her, helping her with daily household chores and a few errands.  She often tells me all about her life: She grew up in London, traveled all across Europe, came to the states, worked on Wall Street, and continued traveling all across the US.  As she doesn’t have any family still alive and receives few visitors, I know how important my visits are. To me, she has become like a grandmother. She always offers me tea, and we gossip about the little old lady a couple of doors down in the apartment complex as we fold laundry together. I know that when I leave for college, it’s going to be one of the hardest goodbyes I’ll have to make. But I have the comfort that next year’s Action Team captains will be keeping an eye out for her, and I know they’ll do a great job.

So to Action Team Captains: Cherish the people you meet, because you never know how much the relationship could not only impact them, but you as well.