Youth Forward scholarship 2016 – Awakening Experience

Name: Chealsea Chevis
From: Houston, TX - Texas
Grade: 12
School: Barbara Jordan High School for Careers
Votes: 0

An experience last summer enlightened me about some of the issues in
my local community. I took some time out to volunteer at Magnolia
Multiservice center. At the time, I thought “this is just to pass
time and to get extra hours for community service.” I noticed that
the community is predominately made up of minority groups. As the
summer went along, I started to recognize that there are a plethora
of dilemmas within the community. The elders didn’t have anyone to
help them in the garden that they had begun months before, the clinic
needed people to assist with events, and a good deal needed
assistance with immigration. Some came in without central air in
their homes and anyone that lives in Houston can tell you that the
heat can be unbearable during the months of May through September.
I’ve had many other encounters that were similar, but there was a
main common factor between my neighborhood and theirs; there wasn’t
much information that caught the attention of the community. As a
solution to the problems, we donated air conditioners, assisted
anyone that needed green cards, and we even redid the garden that was
once dying.

A major issue that I’ve see is that low-income communities don’t have many
resources or materials that the community can put to use. There is a
large majority of teen pregnancies, AIDS/HIV positive adults, drug
addicts, and ill elderly people that can’t receive their medication
due to them being handicap or too ill. All of these groups have one
thing in common: Not enough information and resources. I want to
change this in many parts of Houston.

A majority of people around the Houston area can’t get certain benefits or even
housing due to their criminal background in drugs, prostitution,
and/or other crimes. Therefore, they’re denied access to many
helpful resources that certain places have to offer. And if a
resource is located, they have to either pay a high price or travel a
long distance to utilize it. My ultimate goal is to change all of
these things. I want to create a place where the people don’t have
to travel a long distance and don’t have to pay much to get what
they need. The elderly can have someone to pick up food and
medications and whoever needs help with anything, they are welcome.

All people need is an opportunity to get what they need without any “loopholes”
that could stop their resources. I just want to help people have an
opportunity to a better life in the community.

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