Southlake Kristin White loves when Megan Smith comes to work at the Municipal Court.
“We have a lot of people come to our office that are not always so happy, and she definitely brings a brightness to our office,” White said. “We are very excited when Megan comes in to visit us.”
Smith has accrued more than 500 working hours for the City of Southlake and has not made a single cent.
She has spent the past year volunteering for the city and recently was honored at an upcoming reception for the city’s volunteers. Although Smith does not get make financial gains for her work, she said she is receiving a form of intangible compensation.
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“I get a lot of confidence in myself, more patience, and I like to be challenged,” she said.
The 20-year-old will receive a Presidential Volunteer Service Award in recognition of her efforts.
Smith said she wanted to be productive after graduating from Eastern New Mexico University. She works more than 20 hours a week at various departments including time with the citizens police academy, municipal court, teen court, Senior Activities Center and the city manager’s office.
“I can’t really pick a favorite since I like them all,” she said. “They help me with my skill levels, people skills and push me out of my comfort zone.”
“I’ve seen a lot more confidence in her,” she said. “Over the course of this past school year, she has definitely built a lot of confidence and it definitely shows.”
Some days, Smith is working with teenagers. The next, she could be helping seniors, and at other times, she can spend a whole work day doing clerical work like shredding paper, filing and more.
Smith said sometimes, she gets in such a groove that employees have to tell her to take a break.
She added one of the challenges of volunteering is trying to get as much done as possible in a limited number of hours.
“You have so many hours to do this,” she explained. “How long can I keep this up.”
To get through the day, Smith normally has her headphones on listening to online streaming music and her own playlist including hip-hop, country and Christian music.
Smith’s mother, Diana Smith is the Department of Public Safety records coordinator. Diana Smith said.
“She is happy to serve and she is happy to do anything that needs to be done,” she said. “She considers it an honor just to work and contribute.”
When she’s not volunteering Megan Smith enjoys spending time with her two miniature schnauzers, friends and her family. Smith plans to return to university this fall for stocking and merchandising.
When she’s volunteering, she remembers something her mother tells her -- to have a positive experience.
“Not a lot of people have a smile, but you give them yours,” she said. “It humbles everybody when you smile.”
Dustin L. Dangli, 817-390-7770