St. Augustine student wins Entergy service award

Volunteering is devoting your time freely. I feel that volunteering is more than just a way to give back to the community; it is an expression of who you are. Volunteering gives you a sense of pride about the choices you make and that they are positively impacting someone’s life. I volunteer because a majority of the places I volunteer at help people in need, and I enjoy helping others.

My grandmother always says to be a cheerful giver and quotes 2 Cor 9:7 “Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, (so let him give); not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver.”

When I volunteer, I am happy to be there, and I want everyone to know that I want to be there.

Being an engineer at Entergy, my mother continues to volunteer through Entergy’s community programs. Seeing my mother volunteering at an early age seemed to be a way of life as a family.

During my four years at St. Augustine High School, I have volunteered more than 400 hours in various places, including Central City Senior Center in New Orleans, Carrington Place Nursing Home, U.S. Marine Corps Toys for Tots, community Thanksgiving dinners sponsored by Troy Carter and Sheriff Marlin Gusman, and building playgrounds in New Orleans through KaBOOM!

Most of my volunteer hours were at the Central City Senior Center during my winter and spring breaks. While at the Senior Center, I served breakfast and lunch, maintained the kitchen area, cleaned and interacted with the seniors while playing their favorite game – bingo. The people looked forward to seeing me, and I enjoyed being one of the reasons they smiled each day.

Through volunteering, I have gained patience and wisdom from people who have lived and served the community before me. I have learned how important it is to say “yes ma’am and yes sir.” When people say that I am a well-mannered young man, it makes me smile.

Learning patience through volunteering proved to be valuable working as a lifeguard over the past two summers with younger children.

Being a recipient of the Entergy Community Power Scholarship from Entergy Louisiana has been a positive impact on my life. I plan to major in chemical engineering at LSU in the fall. The scholarship will assist me in pursuing my degree away from home.

I plan to continue to volunteer and give back to the community during college when I return home on breaks and in the summer.

I want to inspire other young men to become engineers as well. I want them to know that learning math and science is very important, and it can lead to a career in something they can enjoy.

Zachary Nelson is a senior at St. Augustine High School in New Orleans.

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