High School Senior Reflects on Volunteer Experience at 9/11 Memorial

High school senior Britney Perez, a volunteer at the 9/11 Memorial & Museum, poses for a photo in her blue volunteer vest.
High school senior Britney Perez gives back at the 9/11 Memorial.

Although I don’t have a personal tie to the September 11 attacks, they have had a major effect on my life as a New Yorker. The events were undoubtedly horrific, but the 9/11 Memorial & Museum commemorate it in such a magical way. It is not recognized as a place of sadness, but as a special place of remembrance.

The Memorial staff makes each and every visitor feel comfortable and educated as they tour the museum, and these are skills that have been passed on to me from day one. When I began volunteering a little less than a year ago, I was greeted with a warm “welcome to the family.” My experiences have been just as pleasant ever since, and the lessons I’ve learned while volunteering will stick with me for a lifetime.

I was just a junior in high school when I began as a summer volunteer and now I am preparing to graduate and move on to college. The interactions I’ve had and the communication skills I’ve picked up have not only helped me in school, but have bettered me as a person. It is a spectacular feeling to know that the work I do has inspired and comforted so many people.

I would definitely recommend this volunteer opportunity to any high school student looking for something fulfilling to occupy their time. Through this position, I’ve met people from all over the world and heard irreplaceable stories about visitors’ experiences. You don’t have to be a history expert to volunteer, either. If you’re willing to learn and understand what happened on 9/11, you’ll be more than successful in your position.

I’ve met some amazing people at the Museum, and I can’t wait to see what other experiences await. Volunteering has changed my life, and I am extremely grateful to the 9/11 Memorial & Museum for providing me with this opportunity.

Learn more about volunteering with the 9/11 Memorial & Museum here.

By Britney Perez, 9/11 Memorial Volunteer

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