When she became a Girl Scout Daisy in kindergarten, Isabella Sapio had already been volunteering for years. Born into a family of service minded people, even as a tot Isabella learned from her mother what it meant to give back, at church, in the community, at food banks, nursing homes. Scouting was something the family nurtured, her mother and all five of her aunts had been girl scouts. For Isabella, the organization gave her the framework to make a difference. Now, as a senior in high school, she leads a Teen Outreach peer group that provides education and support to middle and high school students on topics ranging from suicide awareness and bullying to drugs, smoking and alcohol. Although she’ll be going to college, Isabella plans to be a lifelong Girl Scout and bring her dedication with her wherever she goes.
What inspires you to volunteer?
I come from a family that has always taught me the importance of volunteering and giving back. As soon as I could walk my mom brought me to food drives to help, as long as I can remember. Children learn what they live.
Describe your volunteer role.
We do all kinds of community projects and events. While we are busiest in the summer when school is out, we serve year-round. We do a lot with food pantries, collecting and making food for baskets at Thanksgiving, Christmas and Easter. We write letters and send care packages to soldiers in Afghanistan, visit nursing homes and do clean up in our town. I have also been involved with 100 Hispanic Women of the Capital District, an organization to lead Latinas toward excellence in leadership and inspire, challenge and empower Hispanics to maximize their strengths and potentials. We did a lot of work towards the recovery effort for Puerto Rico after the hurricane.
What’s been the most rewarding part of your work?
The most rewarding part is just working hard, reaching out and making a difference in people’s lives. I am one person going out into my community and making the world a better place through volunteering. I’m proud to have earned the bronze, silver and gold awards in Girl Scouts, along with two Presidential awards.
What have you learned through your experiences as a volunteer?
I feel like people look at volunteering as taking away time from their day that they could do something else. But so often we end up on the couch, just on our phones. Instead, what you put out in volunteering, you get back and so much more. what you get back.
Are there any future partnerships, programs, or events that you are excited about?
I’m excited to see what college life has to offer as far as community service and volunteering. Upon graduation I plan to become a lifetime girl scout and continue giving back.
Why do you think it’s important for others to give back?
Not only does it help you connect and be involved in community, volunteering helps you grow as a person. And it really does make the world a better place.
What do you want people to learn from your story?
I want people to know that you can start volunteering at any age, doesn’t matter how young or old. Again I’ll quote my mom, who always says that children learn what they live.
Do you want to make a difference in your community like Isabella? Visit All for Good for local volunteer opportunities.