Across the United States, more than 500,000 business leaders, community advocates, parents, teens and individuals who want to give back and support their neighbors volunteer at the Y. That’s because in 10,000 neighborhoods nationwide, we have the presence and partnerships to not just promise, but deliver positive personal and social change.

Every year, in October, the New Jersey YMCA State Alliance holds their awards ceremony recognizing those individuals and youth that embodied the mission of the YMCA and whose work strengthened local communities and supported the YMCAs in promoting youth development, healthy living, and social responsibility.

BRIANNA HIRSCHMAN – AGE 16 -2019 Volunteer Award Winner

Volunteering is the act of giving your time and service to a cause without payment and it can be done for many reasons. Some do it for a variety of reasons but volunteering is a way of life for me. It was how I grew up, and it expresses who I am. My goal in life is to inspire others to give back in any way they can, not because they have to, but because they want to.  Being a volunteer runs in my family. My Dad has always volunteered and has spent most of his working career working for a YMCA, as well as many other recreational places.

I am a junior at Somerset County Vocational and Technical High where I am currently studying Cosmology. I enjoy playing on my high school basketball team and participating in other sports. I am a certified lifeguard and I love to swim.

I have been a part of the YMCA for my entire life and I love to work with children. During the last two summers I volunteered at the Capital YMCA summer camp, putting in over 200 hours and I didn’t stop there. Whenever there was a special event like National Night Out, Y5K runs and Healthy Kids day, I can’t wait to be involved. One of the other areas I like to be involved in is with the after-school program and the childcare. Working with children is a lot of fun and being a hard-working volunteer and a great role model for youths at the Capital Area YMCA is very important to me. Being with the kids is probably one of the greatest things a volunteer can do!