My name is Margaret Gorman, and I’m an Action Team Captain at H-B Woodlawn in Arlington, Va. I was originally inspired to join the Action Team by my older brother, a former Captain who graduated in 2014. Now, I have been a part of the Action Team for three years. It has been an incredibly rewarding experience for me and the lessons I’ve learned will stay with me for my entire life.
Each month my school’s Action Team has been working with the Arlington Food Assistance Center, our local food bank, by sorting food in the back of the warehouse. During my last trip, however, I was asked to help out in front, handing out meat and dairy to the patrons of the food bank.
Before my experience with the Action Team, this job would have made me nervous. I was always a little shy and preferred to work behind the scenes. But after being a part of the Action Team for nearly three years, I jumped into my task with enthusiasm and confidence.
When it comes to Action Team events, I’ve often found that the most important thing you can bring is effort. For instance, you may not know how to distinguish a rotten potato from a fresh one, or how many gallons of milk a family gets, but as long as you put the effort in, you will find a way to make the event a success.
There are people willing and ready to help you at every turn — from older students in the Action Team to other volunteers and organizers of the event. No one will ignore your questions if you’re willing to ask. If you keep putting in effort and asking questions, the service will eventually become second nature. Now, when I’m asked to do something new at a service project, I find it easy to adapt. I’ve learned how to think on my feet: when there’s a job that needs doing, I don’t hesitate to do it.
The Action Team has empowered me to appreciate hard work and service. It’s taught me how to adapt to new situations and new challenges. When I’m at college next year, I know I am not going to shy away from new opportunities to help others. I’m not afraid of putting in a little effort.
-Margaret, H-B Woodlawn HS