Success Starts with Service: You Have to Give Before You Can Get

By Alexandra Hochstetler
Distinguished Young Woman of Indiana for 2013
As fellow “distinguished” women, community service means something different to each of us. To me, community service has always been an integral part of my life – whether it’s volunteering at my local food pantry, mentoring my peers, or working to raise money for local and global charities. There is however a unifying theme that I have found throughout all of my service activities; helping others brings me an inexplicable form of happiness. I simply enjoy performing acts of service. Sometimes, no matter how busy my schedule is…I just need to take a break. For me, that break is going out and making a difference in the lives of others. It is always refreshing to share my gifts with those around me and remind myself of why I am here on earth. This world is a big scary place. If we are going to survive we need to help out those around us and make our own lives worth living for. 

Success is not dependent on how much money you make in life, it is about how many lives you are able to impact. Words that when written on paper mean nothing, but when they are taken to heart and lived, a true difference can be made. High school particularly is difficult for many of us to make a difference. We are growing up, making a future for ourselves, and few of us have the time to drop everything and serve. But you don’t have to travel very far to see the problems in our own country. There are many problems worldwide, and making a difference starts at home. We need to focus on the pressing issues around us – the impoverished, the homeless, even the teens and peers in our own schools. There are problems that aren’t seen, the children who are lost in our class cliques who just need to feel included. Service is everywhere and is always needed. So start somewhere! Positivity is contagious – and acting in a positive way will create a positive community.

Alexandra Hochstetler is a college freshman at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis in Indianapolis, Indiana double majoring in Biology and Medical Humanities and minoring in both Chemistry and Spanish. Originally from Middlebury, IndianaAlexandra was a participant in the Distinguished Young Women program and was selected as the Distinguished Young Woman of Indiana for 2013. Learn more about Alexandra here!

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