Imagine a community where everyone is working together to serve. The community values serving others and finds importance in teaching their younger citizens this honorable habit. This is the kind of community, Cassandra Shed- Director of YoungLife Southwest Dallas, hopes to build.
Cassandra is a veteran to community service. She started volunteering in her teens, and she has continued ever since then. Now, Cassandra Shed has been with YoungLife for over 30 years. During a conversation with her, we heard a voice full of passion, a genuine care for others, and a hearty laugh. Her attitude towards service was perfectly captured, as she said, "When you can give your life away and expect nothing in return, I think there’s a sense of wellness and wholeness."Cassandra is a leader of service in her community. She strongly believes in giving back to the community and she lives her life modeling her belief.
As the head of Younglife Southwest, Cassandra is always on the look-out for opportunities to engage the community. Cassandra has implemented many opportunities for high-school students to serve others. One of these events is a bi-weekly gathering at a middle school in Duncanville, Texas.
When Cassandra first started the middle school program, she only had 8-10 high school volunteers. This limited the number of times she could go to the middle school. She needed more help. By using x2VOL, Cassandra has been able to extend her reach out to hundreds of Duncanville students. Now that she has more volunteers, Cassandra started the program at two additional middle schools; she's expanding!
She recruits high school volunteers at Duncanville High School by posting in x2VOL. She caravans the high school students to the middle school and they help her run an event called WyldLife. The high school students lead the middle school students in myriad activities. Cassandra provides a setting where two distinct groups of students enjoy each other’s company, collaborate, and work towards a goal.
All of Cassandra’s dedication ties back to her firm stance that the community has the responsibility to teach students how to give back. She stressed that by serving others, people (students especially) learn to be less self-centered and aware of other people’s needs. Serving people leads to a “helping” mindset.
What is your community mindset?