Youth Forward Scholarship Winter 2016 – Sharing My Love to Others

Name: Elisa Nguyen
From: Miami , Florida
Grade: 11
School: TERRA Environmental Research Institute
Votes: 0

Dedicating my time to volunteer is my passion because of the joy it brings to
everyone. I had less than a 1% chance of surviving three diseases
that I was diagnosed with many years ago. I survived and my family
was overjoyed, but I entered the toughest part of my life mainly
because I had lost all of my friends.

I started high school and joined my youth group. Thats
where I met my best friends and at first it was so hard for me to
accept their love because it was too good to be true. I have been
volunteering with my youth ministry for the last two years. I go
twice a week for about three hours a night and that doesn
t
include the fundraisers and retreats we organize. I make the grocery
lists, decorate the envelopes the participants receive, design the
t-shirts, and lead praise and worship. Just like my friends were
there for me, I want to be there for others. I cried so much on my
first retreat because I was letting out all the pain I had been
holding in for all those years, but the volunteers, also known as my
friends, were there to comfort me. At one recent retreat I led, the
girls in my cabin said I was the
coolest leader” and
that because of me they want to grow in their faith and lead next
year
s retreat with me. Hearing that I was an inspiration in someones
life makes me feel fulfilled because I don
t
want others to have to continue going through the pain I went
through.

I make it a priority for my peers to be loved by giving them a hug,
starting a conversation, and making them feel included. Those simple
acts of kindness can change a person
s
life just like it did mine. I volunteer because I have so much fun
while still helping others grow in their faith.

In college I want to take my passion to a higher level and study to be a
doctor so I can continue to help others in need at a professional
level. The work I am doing in my Catholic community will be
remembered for many years because we don
t
forget the faces that had an impact on our lives. A student from two
years ago started high school and he said hi to me because he
remembered me as his leader from the middle school youth group. In
the future I hope to see us in peace and not in war. I hope that we
will stop bullying each other whether it
s
name calling in school or countries not letting others practice their
faith. That people will stop taking the lives of others because of
anger or someone taking their own life because they aren
t
loved. Love is what holds us together and I hope that the whole world
can see the affects of kindness.


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