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Describe your best experience working as a leader or working in a group or team (SHAD Valley 2017)

alex137911 2 / 5 2  
Nov 26, 2016   #1
According to CBC, at least 30 000 Canadians are homeless on any given night. We see them in all our cities, and we always pass by them on our way to school and work. Even though we are always exposed to their plight, how many times have we actually stopped to help? I too, was guilty of this complete disconnection and disregard Canadians feel for those less fortunate than us. For this reason, I decided to volunteer at Loving Spoonful, a local charity.

In Kingston, over 15% of the population lives under the poverty line. Hundreds of people are homeless, and cannot afford fresh, healthy food. Loving Spoonful volunteers collect surplus fresh food from restaurants, grocery stores, food donations and local community gardens in order to aid those in need. As a volunteer, I was the team captain of the food collection division of the charity. The duties of our team involved: setting up Loving Spoonful's booth at the Farmer's market to receive food donations, informing the public of Loving Spoonful's upcoming events, selling tickets to the events (e.g. the Kingston Film Festival), and setting up for the events.

This opportunity was my one of my best experiences working as a leader for many reasons. First of all, I learned how to problem-solve on the spot. For example, when collecting food donations, we had to weigh all the food and pack them into plastic boxes. When we ran out of plastic boxes I went around to different stores in the area to ask them if they had any cardboard boxes they had not recycled yet. Secondly, I learned useful time management and organizational skills by helping the administrative team setting up and organize various events. And finally, hearing all the success stories of our efforts made all of our hard work worth every second, and gave me a sense of fulfillment. As the famous saying goes, "You have not lived today until you have done something for someone who can never repay you." (1931/2500)

PS I have a limit of 2500 characters (spaces included). Thanks for looking this over!!

Holt - / 7,529 2001  
Nov 26, 2016   #2
Alex, focus more on the activity as it relates to the prompt question rather than offering up a long backstory about the homeless in your country. While it makes for good information, it is not really relevant to the way that you became a leader or the experience that you had leading the team. The reviewer doesn't have the time to wade through unnecessary information, which is why you have such a limited character count for the essay. The removal of the references to the figures behind being homeless will help to not only bring down the character count further, but it will also ensure the instant focus on your response in the eyes of the reviewer.

The proper introduction for your response should have been as simple as this:

Canada has a homeless person problem. It is a problem that came to my attention recently and resulted in my volunteering at the local Loving Spoonful charity organization in my community. As one of the luckier and more affluent members of the community, I felt that it was my chance to help those who were not as fortunate as my family and I. Unknown to me, it would also become the best chance for me to begin to develop my leadership skills.

Then you can move on to the second paragraph and the explanation of how you developed those skills so that this working experience became the best that you ever had. Feel free to use the introduction I developed if you want to. Otherwise, I think it will make a good reference for your revised opening statement. Either way is fine with me.
OP alex137911 2 / 5 2  
Nov 26, 2016   #3
Ok, thank you so much!

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