By Shannan Giampa

Volunteering last year was a big eye-opener for me; it showed me many aspects about retail, the different types of customers you can get during the day, and all the jobs that need to be done. Volunteering also taught me to be more confident and willing to talk and help customers, and my co-workers.

When I first did this unit, my sister and peers were telling me that this was a good experience. My mum did volunteering when she was younger and kept telling me to go for it, that I wouldn’t regret it and that it would help me later on in my life. After doing it for a semester last year, I was keen to do it again the year after. I got a lot of life experiences last year. I learnt so much from even the simple things like organising the shirts to be in a certain colour order or placing the dresses from long to short. Everything I did helped to make the shop more presentable.

I met lots of new people. Every time I walked in on Friday afternoons, my manager Barry was there and helped me when I didn’t know what to do. He helped me become more confident.

This unit is different from all the others because you are able to get more trust from the school, and you learn a lot more about what life is like in the outside world. You see what it’s like to work in certain places. You get this special feeling from doing the Y Challenge. It’s like you did something good and that it was actually worth all your hard work when you see the customers leaving happy. You get a certificate at the end for all your work and it will help you for when you’re applying for jobs. Not only are you able to use the teacher as a future reference, but if you’re lucky enough, your manager will let you use them as a reference as well.

This class first appealed to me last year because I knew I would learn something completely different in this class and be able to feel more trusted by the school.  This year, I want to venture out again and go do volunteering work. I enjoyed it so much I decided to choose it again for this year.