Through their dedication to the projects within Am4teens and the causes behind them, our volunteers exemplify the phrase “be the change that you wish to see in the world”, putting forth painstaking effort to be a part of creating the future that they wish to live in.
Tinsae Birhanu’s ‘all in’ approach to serving has afforded her not only a sense of purpose and fulfillment, but also the accomplishment of becoming the Awards-4Teens honoree for April 2021.
Within her short time with the organization, Tinsae has wholeheartedly dived into humanitarian efforts that speak to her personal mission. Her passion for mental health and education, as well as a strong personal faith, acts as a driver to work toward global progress.
In one word what does volunteering mean to you?
Tinsae: Serving. In the Bible in the book of Galatians it says to serve others as you serve God. Volunteering and serving others has a meaningful impact. It is also a great way to give time to God through deeds.
What is one favorite project that you were involved in at Am4teens?
Tinsae: The Mind over Matter project, a project that focused on improving mental health through small actions. I aspire to have a career in psychology, so the project piqued my interest and the tasks held more meaning as I learned about mental health.
What inspired you to volunteer? And what advice would you give to your younger self that is just beginning their volunteer journey?
Tinsae: I had a lot of time on my hands and didn't want to spend my time doing nothing, so I thought that volunteering would be a good way to serve others as a Christian and engage in opportunities related to psychology or neuroscience while working with others and developing interpersonal relationships. I would tell my younger self to not be afraid that they are so young and perhaps naive, a lingering feeling from when I would volunteer in person pre- COVID-19 and was one of the few teens in a sea of adults. I would also tell myself that if you’re passionate take advantage and jump in!
What is something that you have learned through your volunteering experience?
Tinsae: I’ve learned to balance things outside of school, inside of school, and my personal life. Before all of my energy went toward school but clubs and volunteering taught me to balance all of my responsibilities and have a schedule.
When you are not busy with school or volunteering, what do you do for fun?
Tinsae: I’ve been getting into reading, something that I wouldn't have even thought of doing a couple of months ago. Right now I'm reading a series called Six of Crows, which will be incorporated into an upcoming Netflix series, catching up with friends, reading my Bible and talking with God, and by extension doing calligraphy because I enjoy Bible journaling.
What volunteering experiences do you see yourself taking part of in the future?
Tinsae: I’m open to all of the projects in Am4teens, but specifically the ones related to psychology and mental health, so anything under the MInd over Matter umbrella. Outside of Am4teens, hopefully something long term or something in the summer. I am looking into interning at a local hospital or shadowing physicians in person so that I can form connections within the medical field. For now, I’m doing what I can from home.
We would like to extend our immense gratitude to Tinsae Birhanu, and all of our volunteers whose contributions encourage the achievement of the organization's central goals, proving that teens can make a difference.
How can readers get involved?
Become our next volunteer of month by signing up to become a volunteer.
Contribute to the growth and development of our initiatives by donating.
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