April 9, 2018
By Tim MacVean
ELKINS — An 18-year-old YouthBuild student and AmeriCorps member has spent half her life volunteering in the community.
Katrianna Collins said through her involvement with YouthBuild, she has had several opportunities to assist area organizations.
“I am currently enrolled at YouthBuild North Central in Elkins and a member of AmeriCorps. At YouthBuild, we volunteer at the Randolph County Humane Society, where we walk and socialize with the animals,” she said. “We also volunteer at Catholic Charities, where we assist the staff and the customers with their needs.”
In addition to taking part in several projects in the community, Collins also volunteers as a “path finder” at Davis Health System.
“At YouthBuild, we volunteer to help complete many projects in the community. We recently volunteered at the Randolph County Wood Tech Center building chairs for the CHAIRity event at Davis Health System,” Collins said. “Additionally, we spent a day at Homestead (Elementary) School cleaning and organizing the facility. Personally, I volunteer as a path finder at Davis Health System where I help patients navigate the facility.”
Collins added her mother got her involved with volunteering at a young age.
“I have been volunteering since I was 9 years old,” she said. “My mom introduced me to volunteering when I was younger.”
She said she enjoys the impact volunteering has on her life as well as those she helps.
“I continue to volunteer because I see the impact it has on the lives of others as well as mine,” Collins said. “It feels good helping others when they need it.”
Collins said she also enjoys interacting with others and learning about their lives.
“I enjoy meeting new people and seeing the joy they have when they realize that people care about them despite their situation(s),” she said.
Collins said her mother and sister both also volunteer in the community. When she is not volunteering, Collins enjoys spending time with her 1-year-old daughter.
Michelle Phares, program manager at YouthBuild North Central, said organization leaders are very proud of Collins’ accomplishments.
Phares noted Collins is one of two individuals who recently represented the YouthBuild program at the National Conference of Young Leaders and Capitol Hill Day in Washington, D.C., along with Biker Sottile.
The young leaders worked to “make a change not only here in our community but help to set policy nationwide,” Phares said.
“Volunteering in our community is part of the fiber of our YouthBuild program. YouthBuild partners with AmeriCorps, and crew members like Kate sign an AmeriCorps contract, pledging to individually perform 450 hours of community building activities. In return, they earn a $1,500 education award,” Phares added.
“This monetary award is not the motivation for these young people to serve,” she said. “They want to make life better for themselves, their families and their community.”