My own grandmother lives halfway across the world in South Korea and is hard of hearing. I wish I was able to cherish the moments I had on the phone when she could hear me; I wonder how lonely she must feel with no one to talk to. In light of that, I share the blessing of conversation with another senior at my local senior center. Although by blood we are not related, we form connections that grow just as deep. I [hope] that this movement [will] take up speed globally, so that grandmothers who live separated from their family still have a home away from home.
I noticed that many people were using GlamourGals to meet requirements for service credit. It was devastating -- I wanted GlamourGals to be a family and I didn’t want people to look at GlamourGals as just a club, or as just volunteering, or even as just another bullet point on a college resume. As president, I learned [that] I must lead by example. Fancy speeches in front of the club room may spark momentary conviction, but when my peers see me interact first hand with the seniors, I notice a difference in their own actions and conversations.
Prior, I thought that as a leader I had to sacrifice my own time with the elderly in order to help run the club. I paced the room, took pictures and asked if anyone needed help. I always passed up my chance to sit down with a senior. But one makeover, we were short of volunteers so I sat down with a senior who coincidently happened to be the very first senior I had given a makeover to. When I first sat down with Sophia, I wasn’t completely focused on our conversation, frequently looking up to see if everything was proceeding well. But then our conversation clicked. Sophia was genuinely interested and concerned about my wellbeing. I found myself opening up to her about my fear of college and the ambiguous future. By the time her caretaker came to take her to dinner, I realized that everyone else in the room was finished and some of the volunteers were looking over at me, smiling.
GlamourGals taught me that conversation is not something to be feared, but rather, loved. Conversation is not a hassle; it is beautiful. Without GlamourGals, I wouldn’t have dared to join the school newspaper. Without GlamourGals, I wouldn’t have realized the passion I have for writing. Without GlamourGals, I would have no clue how to write my college essay because this is the background, identity, and interest that is so meaningful to me. And now, with GlamourGals, I feel ready to chase my passion and to dream big. GlamourGals has shaped my high school career, my ethics, and my aspirations because it has taught me who I want to be at the end of the day. I want to be somebody who works to make their community far greater than they originally found it, through hard work and compassion.
-Rebecca, GG volunteer in Queens, NY &
Chapter President Glammy Scholarship Award finalist