by Raphael Nigaglioni | Staff Writer
Jonah Bocanegra isn’t just your average junior. Despite being in advanced courses, he always has time to help those in need. He sets an example to all those looking to better the world they live in.
“Volunteering has kind of been a family thing we do. A lot of times, as a family, we’ll go out and volunteer. Now, it’s just kind of sunken in, I guess. I just like to volunteer now and help people out. I am involved in the Key Club, which is solely volunteering, and the Red Cross Club, which is a mixture of volunteering and helping out the Red Cross. We do different things like the blood drive and stuff,” junior Jonah Bocanegra said.
Volunteering has been something present throughout all of Bocanegra’s life.
“My family and I have been volunteering for a long time, ever since I was little. It was something I got used to, and I liked it a lot. It’s not like it’s hard labor, well sometimes it is, but it’s for a good cause, helping people who need help. We recently went to the Wounded Warrior Project and handed out Pillow Pets to families. It was actually really cool, there were people just smiling and having fun, despite having amputations and other injuries,” Bocanegra said.
Bocanegra and his family took a heavy toll when one of their children passed away after open heart surgery.
“It affected my whole family. Before, I don’t think my parents really cared about donating organs, but now they strongly believe in that. It definitely influenced us to start helping others out. One place we usually go to help is the Children’s Hunger Fund, and this is where we go because we know how it feels to lose a child,” Bocanegra said.
Despite having a passion for helping those in need, it is still important to have other priorities.
“My number one priority would be school, two would be the clubs I’m involved in, and three would probably be figuring out what to do next, such as next year and college. I like going to school mainly because I like learning about things. The day where I don’t learn something will be pretty terrible,” Bocanegra said.
Besides his family, Bocanegra also tries to influence other to join in on his good deeds.
“In the Red Cross Club, we’re always looking for new members and I help out with that. If we’re working on a project I’ll always ask my friends if they want to come along and help. Usually the answer is ‘no’ but it’s always worth a try,” Bocanegra said.
Helping out is sometimes a reward on it’s own.
“My biggest accomplishment would probably be that I’ve helped people, doing a good service. It’s nice, I like helping and getting to others to help each other, I like people helping each other,” Bocanegra said.
Bocanegra has some big plans for his future, and volunteering will play a big role in it.
“I plan on staying with the Red Cross Club and doing community service. I’m going to be volunteering at the hospital this summer. I want to get into the health field and since I volunteer so much I’m trying to volunteer more in that area. I just want to keep doing what I’m doing, and do it better,” Bocanegra said.