UWYD: Where Are They Now?
At the Volunteer Center, our vision is to transform the world by cultivating volunteers and enabling leaders in the South Plains, no matter the age. Last summer, we sat down with one of our former United Way Youth Division (UWYD) members, Geuel Simiyu. At the time, she was a senior at Talkington School for Young Women Leaders. She shared her experience with us.
Geuel spent the majority of her childhood growing up in Kenya, Africa. In 2008, she and her family moved to the United States. Initially, Geuel believed she and her family were impoverished because they received services from organizations such as Goodwill and the South Plains Food Bank. However, after volunteering at her church and becoming involved in UWYD, her perspective changed.
Geuel explained, “I saw that people had less than I had. I realized it was my responsibility to give back because I have more and was given that chance by somebody else before.”
Last year, Geuel served as the Project Coordinator for UWYD. She told us that her involvement in the program expanded her scope of volunteer opportunities, introducing her to organizations she would never have heard about otherwise. She thoroughly enjoyed the chance to learn more about volunteering.
Geuel now attends Texas Tech University. She is majoring in Biology and will later attend Medical School. Her interest in the medical field stems from her love of helping others and volunteering at UMC over the summer. Geuel told us, “I love to make people smile. I’ve been there and I know what it is to experience that kindness.”
Geuel’s story of discovering her passion for volunteering is a great example of how youth volunteer programs like UWYD cultivate the next generation of leaders.