“I believe that it’s important to be involved in my community because living in a caring and compassionate community benefits everyone. When people take pride in their community and are willing to give back, there’s a sense of unity that inspires others,” says William Flores '21, a graduating senior from Brother Martin High School.
Labor of Love has been one of the most rewarding experiences for Flores. It is the largest CYO project in which St. Matthew the Apostle Church participates. The elderly people in the parish submit a request for volunteers to help around the house with basic chores and yard work.
Even though the projects range from trimming bushes, weeding gardens and painting the house, this experience is more than just house maintenance.
“I have found that the parishioners appreciate our company just as much as the actual work we perform,” says Flores. “Each year, the elderly parishioners invite us into their homes to talk and share stories about their lives. I try to get to know each person I help during Labor of Love and I want to make a positive impact on them.”
Flores volunteers at numerous events around New Orleans including a Vacation Bible School, Women’s New Life Center and delivering Thanksgiving baskets to the needy.
“My ability to connect with people and exchange thoughts broadens my views and allows me to keep an open mind,” says Flores.
Through different volunteer experiences, Flores meets many people from all different walks of life. From his activism, Flores has learned a lot and has gained the ability and confidence to speak his mind about certain issues without being judged by others.
Participating in Washington D.C.’s National March for Life pilgrimage with his CYO and church parish gave him the strength to voice his opinion.
“My determination has grown and inspires me to fight for what I believe in, never give up and stand strong, even when my views are not the views of others around me,” says Flores. “Being Pro-Life is a belief that I feel strongly about, and I’ll continue to promote and inform others around me on what it means to preserve all life.”
Flores plans to attend Texas A&M University at Galveston next year and will study Marine Transportation. After graduation, he plans on pursuing a career in the Maritime field and strives to pilot the ships on the Mississippi River.
Flores says, “Volunteering in my community is something I will continue to do, and I hope more young people will get involved to help make a difference in their community.”