By: Jesse Richards, Work and Travel Summer 2014 Ambassador Scholar

Jesse is a Work and Travel participant from Jamaica, working at Jumpin Jakes in Maine. in his latest post, he discusses how he volunteered in his American host community in Maine. Watch his video as he describes his volunteer story.



Volunteering in the USA is always a memorable experience. Through volunteering, I am given the privilege to contribute to a cause. I participated in a beach cleanup project. The original idea was to conduct a fence activity and the beach cleanup. The fence activity was for the Piping Plovers’ nesting area along the beach. The Piping Plover is a small bird that feeds and nests in dunes along the coastal beaches of North America. These areas are listed as endangered species in Maine.

The day’s scheduled activities included a beach cleanup, planting fence posts, and securing ropes to fence the nesting areas of these birds on the beach.

The beach cleanup was successful. However, due to unforeseen circumstances, the fencing aspect of the day’s activities had to be cancelled. The cancellation wasn’t much of a big deal, because there were other activities that we took part in. So, in addition to the beach cleanup, other international students and I went into the Old Orchard Beach Memorial Park to help out with a little sprucing up of the vegetation. We raked leaves from the grass and we also did some work with mulch around the trees to make it a bit more attractive again.

One of the highlights of volunteering this summer is that I was featured in a local newspaper. The journalist wrote about CCI Greenheart and the activity that we were involved in for the day. I hope that just by reading the article, others were encouraged to volunteer wherever they are.

On a more personal note, I like to volunteer because that is one way to show my gratitude to my host community for being so welcoming to international students.┬áVolunteering also allows me to participate in something greater than myself. I would encourage everyone to make volunteering a regular part of his/her life. Believe me; it leaves you with a good feeling. If given the chance to do it all over again, I wouldn’t hesitate to participate in any volunteering activity. Volunteering is simply a good thing to do.