Patricia Hernandez, a senior at Redondo Union High School, has been volunteering with Beach Cities Health District’s AdventurePlex for more than a year now - assisting kids, families, volunteers and staff. As a new resident of Redondo Beach, Patricia searched for volunteer opportunities that would allow her to be of service to the community and have fun. Last year, she was nominated for the Teen Volunteer Core Value Award for her generosity, patience and caring approach to helping young people learn and grow.
Q: Have you always enjoyed working with kids?
A: “I realized that I enjoyed working with kids when I started volunteering at AdventurePlex. Compared to when I first volunteered in junior high, I now have a new appreciation for volunteering with kids and I love seeing how much fun they’re having, too!”
Q: How long have you been doing volunteer work?
A: I started in 7th grade. I helped teachers at my church and volunteered as a team counselor at a camp in Culver City. I also completed a counselor-in-training class in Hawthorne. Then we moved to Redondo Beach, and I found AdventurePlex.
Q: What drew you to volunteering?
A: I wanted to gain experience to include on my resume and college applications. Also, being involved in volunteering programs prepares me for the future, especially if I pursue a career with children or older adults.
Q: Do you have a favorite moment with BCHD?
A: I enjoyed the Grand Opening at Toddler Town. That was a big event! I like volunteering at AdventurePlex events because we’re all together - volunteers and staff. Also, events at the beaches are fun!
Q: What do enjoy most about volunteering at AdventurePlex?
A: I like seeing the kids happy, especially at the birthday parties. The outdoor rock climbing is fun, and I like Toddler Town; which is which is where I volunteer most of my time.
Q: If someone is unsure about volunteering, what advice would you give them?
A: They should definitely volunteer no matter what! Get the experience! I was unsure about volunteering at AdventurePlex at first because it’s a larger facility than the other places I’ve volunteered at before. Talk to the kids and have fun! Talk to the parents also, get comfortable with them and get to know this place. You may even want to apply for a job here!
Written with thanks to Ashley Smaldino