"Helping others is also helping yourself."
Brittany Williams, now 15, of Harlem, NY, mentored children with special needs while fulfilling her own wish to learn figure skating in a program that teaches the artistic sport to girls in Harlem.
What kind of philanthropic or volunteer work did/do you do?
Brittany: Mentor children, some with special needs.
What is the name and location of the organization?
Brittany: Figure Skating in Harlem (FSH), Harlem, NY.
Tell us about the project, especially who benefited from this work.
Brittany: FSH is the only organized figure skating organization for specifically female Harlem residents between the ages of 6-16.
What inspired you to get involved?
Brittany: I have been a mentor or monitor since third grade. I am an only child, so it's fun for me to help out.
How did you first get involved? Give us some details.
Brittany: I always wanted to learn to figure skate but have had serious respiratory problems. As the problems became less serious, my Mom located FSH through a friend and encouraged me to enroll.
What is/was the best thing about your experience?
Brittany: I like to see kids who couldn't skate, learn to skate well. I think that I can help them feel the same freedom I feel from skating.
What is/was the hardest part?
Brittany: Learning how to fall!
What was the biggest surprise?
Brittany: I am a very good skater and teacher! The Director selected me to be a Flower Sweeper at the 2003 Campbell’s Champions on Ice Competition at Madison Square Garden!
What new things have you learned as a result of your experience and how have you changed as a result?
Brittany: It is possible to overcome things that could hold you back and it helps to have somebody support your dreams. I believe that I am much more confident now.
What advice would you give to someone who is thinking of getting involved in philanthropy or volunteering?
Brittany: Do it! Helping others is also helping yourself.
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