We've now completed 213 workshops this school year! These are all carried out by our incredible volunteers. Spencer is 22, currently studying French & Drama in TCD. He is our of our most committed volunteers, always happy to go to a school when he definitely has other things he needs to do! Here is what Spence has to say about volunteering with ShoutOut.
When I first heard about ShoutOut, I knew I wanted to get involved. I luckily had had a really good time being out as gay in secondary school, but I was always acutely aware that some of my peers in other schools around the country weren’t getting as easy a ride. Now, a 22 year old Arts student with plenty of free time on my hands, getting to visit schools all over the country in an effort to make things better for queer students and school communities in general is how I get my kicks.
The most enjoyable aspect of working with ShoutOut is having any preconceptions I might have of a school based on its geographical location, its patronage or its gender makeup blown apart. I am consistently surprised and delighted by how well-informed and involved today’s teens are in advocating for queer rights and being allies to their classmates. But that’s not to say that our work as volunteers isn’t necessary. At a time where the internet is the primary source for second-level students to research what their schools and their curriculum is failing to educate them about, our role is to be an approachable and friendly face to provide accurate and real-world information.
If you haven’t done so already, give volunteering a go. It’s one of the most rewarding and beneficial experiences for both yourself and the students you get to talk to, and no matter how you come away from a workshop feeling, you’ll have definitely made an impact to someone’s life in that school.