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Alaina Senior Speech

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Alaina Senior Speech

  1. 1. Alaina BeckMrs. CorbettAdvanced Placement Literature and Composition7 April 2012 YMCA Fall Classic Coordinator Have you ever wondered how you can organize an event for a non-profit organization?During my freshman year I was constantly at the Y with my mom and sister, who both workthere, and I needed something to do. Therefore, I joined a club called Teen Leaders and we occa-sionally volunteered at an organization called 7 Bridges, which is dedicated to helping the home-less and troubled people of Atlanta. While we were there, we made food and brought it around tothe homeless people. After volunteering at 7 Bridges I became interested in non-profit organiza-tions which eventually led me into being the coordinator of the YMCA Fall Classic for my Se-nior Project. Throughout the years I have stayed involved with the Y by being employed as PlayCenter Attendant and volunteering in other areas at the YMCA. Already being so involved in thisorganization made this a perfect opportunity for a senior project, planning the 10K, 5K and1Mile Fun Run. After working there for two years and choosing to coordinate the YMCA Fall Classic asmy Senior Project I realized that I had no real knowledge of the YMCA, which is why I chose towrite my research paper on the history of the Y. Since my career choice is a director of a non-profit organization, knowing what the company stands for and how they developed is valuableknowledge that I learned throughout my research. What I learned in my research paper and byworking with my facilitator is that the YMCA raises money for something called Partner withYouth, which uses it’s funds to help members pay for their memberships and helps sends chil-
  2. 2. dren to summer camp. Partner with Youth is what all the money the race raised is going to. Suc-cessfully completing this race was a long and hard process. To help with the race I found my facilitator Howell Huffman. When I was deciding on afacilitator there were some qualities that had to be met. Most importantly I needed someone whowas involved with a non-profit organization and someone who planned events with them. It waspretty easy finding a facilitator because I knew exactly who I needed since I was already in-volved with a non-profit organization. My mom, who also works at the YMCA, and I were talk-ing one night; she told me about Mr. Huffman and how he helps plan the race every year. He alsoworks with the Y, helping them raise money and doing other work for them when they need it.Mr. Huffman is on the Board of the Directors for the Canton YMCA, he was volunteer of theyear in 2010, and he is in the Cherokee Rotary Club, who is a partner with the YMCA and been amajor sponsor of the race since it started in 2008. Mr. Huffman is also on the City Council forthe city of Canton. He was exactly the kind of facilitator I needed to make this project a success. Planning and creating a race is no easy thing to do. There are many steps that have to bedone. First I had to know and understand everything about the race and plan out how to work onit, so I made a schedule of meeting times with my facilitator. My facilitator and I were both verybusy, so finding days to work was very hard, but we worked it out and met on the weekends totalk about everything that needed to be done. We talked about what I needed to do and he gaveme the jobs that had to be done in the first meeting. Since Mr. Huffman was so busy and I al-ready knew the steps I needed to take, I did most of the project without my facilitator by workingwith others who were helping the race. Most of the time I would work after I got off work, forabout two hours every time and normally three days a week. During this time, I helped findsponsorships, set dates, design t-shirts, organize and make awards, and get volunteers for race
  3. 3. day. Getting sponsors was not a hard task considering the race had already been going on for afew years, the old sponsors were still willing to donate; they donated money, prizes, food, andsupplies needed to keep the race going. The date was set for October 15th and the shirts were de-signed; they were very plain. I also had to put together the medals by putting a sticker that saidthe race they ran and the date of the race. The last part of planning was making sure that therewere enough volunteers to have all the stations covered. Most of our volunteers came from theRotary Club, YMCA Teen Leaders, and YMCA Employees; there were also some volunteerswho were there just to help out. After the planning was done, we just had to wait for race day. When that day came, I washere at 5:30 a.m. to help set up all the cones, the food, the start and finish lines, and the other ta-bles that were needed. After setting up I helped make sure everything was running smoothly bywalking around and asking if anyone needed help. After the race began I cleaned up because a lotof runners drop clothes and water bottles at the starting line and throughout the rest points, afterthat I hung around until the 1 mile runners came in and I handed out their medals to them. Then Igot people their goodie bags and made sure they turned in their time cards. Once everyone wasback in the award’s ceremony began and I passed out the medals and trophies. Finally, when ev-eryone was gone I helped the other volunteers clean up all the tables, trash, and cones set upthroughout the race. All in all, the race ran very smoothly and successfully raised a good but ofmoney for Partner with Youth. Although it wet great on race day, not everyday was smooth up tothat day. One of the main problems that occurred was setting up dates to meet with my facilitator,which I talked about earlier, and I resolved this by meeting him on the weekends when it wasconvenient for the both of us. Another problem I ran into was finding time for me to go in and
  4. 4. work on the race; since I had school, cheer, and work it was hard finding free time to really sitdown and work. I finally decided that I would stay after my shifts and work until 9:30 when theYMCA closed, and sometimes I would take the work home if it was small enough. The last diffi-culty I encountered was getting up for the day of the race, this was easily solved by just doing itbecause it had to be done. Throughout the Senior Project I learned many things about myself. I learned that if Idon’t want to do something it takes a lot for me to do it. Although most of the jobs that I didwere relatively easy I learned about halfway into the project that this was something I did notwant to do. However, I did learn that I am good at organizing; I prefer to have check lists and ex-act timelines, so I can make sure that each thing is done on time and correctly. I also learned howto make flyers look appealing so people will read them and I became very efficient with contact-ing people through telephone calls and emails. Through this process I learned that this is not thecareer that I want to pursue and would rather become a physical therapist. After graduating high school I plan on attending North Georgia and staying there to re-ceive my Masters in Physical Therapy and Biology. And after graduating college my dream is toopen my own physical therapy business. Thank you judges, do you have any questions?

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