Abby Ulrey

See below for a link to Abby’s audio file.


    During my junior year, I was given an assignment in English to create my formal resume. I actually got a bad grade on that assignment because when I started to work on it, I realized I didn’t know where to start. I looked at my extracurricular activities throughout the past three years, and there wasn’t much there. Though it felt like I did, I didn’t actually do much. Other than a year of sports and community service organizations, I was struggling to fill the page. I realized I needed to get involved in something, and that is why I joined the Youth Advisory Council.

    While I was searching for something I could pick up, I couldn’t find anything I wanted to do. I ended up having to attend a meeting with the sponsor of the council, Mrs. Teresa Ross (my sister was my ride, and I had no choice). I was invited to join the council after that meeting and initially was reluctant. I didn’t really know anybody on the council and didn’t even know what it meant. I decided to give it a try because I knew I needed to participate in some kind of organization. I thought I would give it a shot and withdraw if it didn’t work out.

    My first event with the council was the Special Olympics Fishing Tournament at Oxford Lake. I started to feel a lot more enthusiastic about joining the council when I got this volunteer spot because I love working with kids, and working at the Special Olympics has been so fun in the past. Even though I was excited, I didn’t expect it to be as fun as it was. I got the opportunity to help the kids have fun, compete, and win. It meant so much to them to win something on their own. After this event, I knew I had been given a great opportunity with the council that I had to take.

    Working with the council, I have learned and experienced so much I otherwise never would have.  I’ve had the opportunity to work at the Soup Bowl, tutor and mentor kids, and work with my sister. We learned to how fund raise, coordinate our own events, and market ourselves. We ran our own anti-Juuling campaign in partnership with the Anniston Child Policy Council and helped them secure an anti-drug grant. I’ve learned a lot about working with the public with Family Links, which the Youth Advisory Council is a part of. These among other projects have taught me the true value of community service.

    As something that I originally didn’t even want to to join, the Youth Advisory Council has become valuable to me. It has cultivated several skills that I didn’t even know I had and allowed me the opportunity to do worthwhile service work. What began as a resume builder has changed my perception of work and service forever.

Please click on the arrow below to hear Abby’s Senior Reading.