From Leadership Skills to Volunteering: How Self-Described “Not A Morning Person” Ben Kennedy Came to Love the Teen Advisory Council
By: Ben Kennedy
Two things initially led to my involvement in the Teen Advisory Council. First, my older sister was involved and talked about how much she enjoyed it. Second, in middle school I attended YR’s TEENPOWER conference. Both things made me want to be a part of TAC in high school.
Joining TAC as a freshman at Central High School, I was skeptical about the early morning meeting times. I am not a morning person, but the early alarms were balanced with donuts, friends and games. Looking back, this has been one of the best decisions I have made in my high school career. Allow me to elaborate on why this program and organization is such a great thing to be a part of.
My favorite part about being involved in TAC is meeting people from different schools with similar interests. Because of TAC, I have friends from Vanderburgh, Warrick and Posey counties. I serve on committees and attend events with friends that I would not have gotten to know without TAC. These friendships give me a huge support system in the community.
Another part of TAC that is very important to me is the community service component. It is very important for me to give back to my community when possible. TAC provides service opportunities through a service calendar. Through these opportunities, I have been introduced to many organizations within my community that I was not aware existed before serving with TAC. Through service I have learned a lot about myself. For example, last semester my committee did a service project with the Dream Center. Prior to this event, I had not had much exposure to children; only the little brothers and sisters of my friends. During this event, I had so much fun playing with the kids. This led me to seek out other volunteer opportunities to work with children. And now, I am considering a career in working with children.
TAC also instills leadership skills. We serve on committees and lead large events. Some events are to benefit TAC members, such as career fairs and college fairs. Some events are to help raise money and spread the word about TAC to the community, like Big Man On Campus and the Hall of Fame celebration. These events are planned and led by members of TAC. This provides us with project management skills and opportunities we would not have in a typical high school club setting.
And most importantly, TAC is a lot of fun. In addition to getting things done, we play games, have guest speakers, socialize and eat a lot of donuts. One of my favorite events is working the Fall Festival booth with my friends. We work a shift and then hang out together for the rest of the night.
TAC helps me to prioritize what is important. My involvement with TAC ensures that I set aside time to serve my community and continue to develop my leadership skills. I look forward to continuing my involvement with TAC throughout high school.
Ben Kennedy is a sophomore at Central High School. He has been a TAC member for two years and serves on the Council’s Special Events Committee. He has also attended TEENPOWER. Ben plays baseball for Central and is a devoted Christian. He just recently returned from a service-focused mission trip to Guatemala.