Missouri State University
Springfield - 91.1
Branson - 90.5
West Plains - 90.3
Mountain Grove - 88.7
Joplin - 98.9
Neosho - 103.7
Share |

It look's like you don't have Adobe Flash Player installed. Get it now.

Volunteering is as Natural as Breathing for Brittney Williams

If ever there was someone who could break the stereotype some have of teenagers it’s Brittney Williams. She turns 16 today, and the soon-to-be junior at Central High School who’s involved in the Kilties, has little down time—she’s constantly helping out with Grant Beach Neighborhood Association events. Right now, she’s coaching 4 baseball teams at Grant Beach, which keeps her busy most days of the week.And she’s been doing community service since she was a little girl…

"One of my first projects was when the war first started in Iraq. I had a huge drive for supplies for troops. It was actually so big that the Red Cross actually told me to stop bringing in stuff, and I was only, oh geez, I don't know, seven. I've had multiple fundraisers for multiple events."

Brittney has an impressive perception for such a young person of how disconnected the world can be at times today. And she knows she can help make things better…

"I think it is so important to have involvement in your community because we live in a world today that--nothing's personal. You live places today and you don't know who your neighbors are. You don't know who lives down the street, and I think it's so important for you to develop ties in your community and help better your environment."

She’s most passionate about helping young people who she calls “our future.” That’s why she’s coaching at-risk kids in Kindergarten thru 5th grade this summer. Volunteering, she says, makes her feel as if she’s making a difference…

"It makes me feel so happy. I just absolutely love putting a smile on everybody's face and it makes me feel good at the end of the day, you know, I did something to better somebody's life somewhere."

Kathryn Vicat welcomed a new member into her family last summer because of an event that Brittney planned at Grant Beach to educate the community about pets and the responsibilities that come with owning them. Vicat went to “Pets in the Park” after a friend told her how impressed he was that a 14-year-old had organized it. And she ended up adopting a Jack Russell whom she named Joe. Vicat, who works as an event organizer, knows how much work goes into an event like the one Brittney organized...

"She had live music and there were all kinds of vendors there, and there were people passing out information, there was all kinds of literature--it was a really, really well-rounded event."

Vicat is impressed by Brittney’s view of the world…

"You're hard pressed to find someone who's that age and is so aware of what's going on beyond herself."

Brittney counts among her mentors the president of the Grant Beach Neighborhood Association, Pauletta Dunn, whom she describes as someone who’s always doing “everything for everybody.” She hopes she’s setting a good example for others by volunteering and not expecting anything in return...

"I would definitely recommend to anybody, anybody at all no matter how young you are or how old you are, get involved with your community. Get involved with something whether if it's, if you're a parent do PTA. If you're young, get a club going at school, just do something and get involved."

Brittney says she’s gained some valuable skills thru volunteering that she’ll be able to use after graduation. She wants to attend culinary school and open up a restaurant in Springfield. She loves to cook for her family and gets mad if her mom cooks dinner.She plans to be a member of the Grant Beach Neighborhood Association when she’s old enough and to continue giving back to the community…

"PTA, you name it, I'll be there--(laughs)--front row and center."

Although Brittney is now 16, she’s not in any hurry to get her driver’s license, although she says, when she can drive, she’ll be able to do even more.For KSMU and the SOC Series, I’m Michele Skalicky.