Sheridan H from Viewbank College embraces her potential through volunteering in her community:

“At the moment the thought is that I will help teach the class Auslan and share my new found skills. I think this is an extremely good and appropriate idea as a personal project. I am looking forward to hopefully sharing my skills with the younger deaf children and their classmates. I hope I can be a good role model and teacher to the students.”

When we were selecting our electives for Year 9, I was certain of what I was going to choose. Then I came across Duke of Ed. As I read the description, I was very intrigued as to what exactly the subject would entail. I put it down as my first preference, thinking I would get to do heaps of exciting outdoor hands-on activities. The wait to find out our confirmed electives seemed like it took forever. When we finally received our forms, I eagerly read it and was excited to find one of my electives was Duke of Ed.

I originally thought it would be just camping, exploring and outdoor skills but Duke of Ed is so much more than that. You get to give back to the community and assist somewhere that benefits the less fortunate or help those who once helped you. It gives young people the opportunity to explore their options and discover their potential.

Choosing somewhere to complete my service was an extremely difficult decision. There are so many possibilities. You can assist with animals, work with disabled children, help out at a hospital, improve the community or assist children with their learning and give back the help you received as a young child.

After a lot of indecision, I decided to volunteer at my old primary school: Rosanna Golf Links Primary School. I really wanted to give back all of the support I received whilst I attended this school. I was particularly interested in helping with the Deaf Facility because I really benefited from being in the program and wanted to ensure other children do too.

I was originally placed in the Junior School, but after the first two weeks, I just didn’t feel that I was being useful so I requested to change classroom. I am now very happy volunteering in a wonderful grade 5/6 class. I feel so at ease being with the group and have a wonderful time with whatever I am given to do. Every week brings something different and I look forward to Thursday afternoons when I go out for another week of volunteering.

Over the last few weeks, my Assessor and I have been attempting to brainstorm an idea for a long term project that I can work on every week when I arrive. At the moment the thought is that I will help teach the class Auslan and share my new found skills. I think this is an extremely good and appropriate idea as a personal project. I am looking forward to hopefully sharing my skills with the younger deaf children and their classmates. I hope I can be a good role model and teacher to the students.

Duke of Ed so far is an extremely rewarding and enjoyable experience and would definitely recommend that as many teenagers as possible get involved.

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