Registered: September 2010
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The summer before my senior year of high school was not all fun and games. I worked hard, probably much harder than a lot of my classmates. Lifting heavy rocks, pushing wheelbarrows, digging trenches and spreading mulch and crushed rock in less than ideal weather conditions for the Belgrade Regional Conservation Alliance to clean up lake front properties was initially a job to help me keep in shape for competitive swimming, but eventually became so much more.
By putting in hour upon hour of manual labor and sweat to make the lakes around my community a little cleaner, I earned a lot more than minimum wage and a few bruises. I saw the appreciation on a customerís face when they saw the work that we had done. I experienced the gratitude that the homeowners felt toward our work group after a job well-done. I felt an extra boost of willpower when neighbors congratulated us on our work because of its benefits to the community.
This job last summer to help keep the Belgrade are lakes clean has really helped me to understand a lot of things about myself and life in general. Learning to work cooperatively with circle of guys from my school, realizing that our differences were less than previously thought and watching as friendships eventually developed was an unexpected twist.
Whenever anyone asked me about what I did for my summer job, they always congratulated me on my efforts and were impressed with my dedication to such a good cause. Spending my summer working for the BRCA has made me more aware of the things I can do for my community and the effect that only a handful of people can have on an entire region.
I originally went into this job wanting only a pay check and a nice tan, but emerged from it with a strong sense of self, stronger work ethics and the knowledge that my efforts can have a positive impact on my community.