By: Yu Yang (Alina), Work and Travel Summer 2014 Ambassador Scholar

Yu Yang, or Alina, is a Work and Travel participant from China, working at Big Mountain Deli & Creperey in Lake Placid, NY. She enjoys her time working in the Adirondack Mountains.

How time flies! It’s hard to believe I have been in the USA for almost 3 months. This has been the most meaningful time in my 20 years of life. One of the unforgettable experiences I’d like to refer to, is working as a volunteer here in the USA.

Where I live and work is called Lake Placid, which is in Upstate New York. It is an amazing resort area, and this is where I started my volunteer journey in America. At the beginning, I have to say, it was not easy for me to access volunteer work. The first time I got my volunteer job was on June 28th – half a month after I arrived in Lake Placid. I volunteered at a strawberry festival held by a local church. Later, I got the chance to volunteer for the local library.

It is great fun, and I have an enjoyable time when I volunteer. It is a good way to get involved in local people’s lives, and it provides me with more chances to get to know more people. And this is a culture exchange, mind exchange, and etc.

Not only do I improve, but I also am able to do something meaningful in the community where I am staying. Volunteerism is a way to get to know more people, a way to give back the kindness I received. It creates a strong bond, so I can keep in touch with others. It gives me a chance to exchange with others and learn about the common way, so I can make the world better.

Volunteering at the strawberry festival

Volunteering at the library

Volunteering at the Food Bank in Washington D.C.