Youth Forward scholarship 2016 – Butterfly Effect

Name: Mayel Valadez
From: Dallas, Texas
Grade: 12th
School: Uplift Peak Preparatory
Votes: 0

During the summer of my ninth grade year and tenth grade year, I
volunteered in a youth 
program
where it helped kids from the community enhance their education while
on break. I 
chose  this program because I once attended this program. I returned after
three years because I 
saw
how the program has grown as whole from the years in which I
attended. It came from two 
little

house like buildings to one building containing 7 rooms wide enough
to fit 20 children and 
extra

offices. This program was were I spent my summer and were I met many
people I still talk 
to

today. I automatically had this motivation to volunteer in this
program because I wanted to 
meet

kids that were in the same situation I was. During both of the
summers that I volunteered, I 
did

7 hours a day for five days. I did this for two months. While I
volunteered here, I was teacher 
assistant.

If the teacher needed to take the younger children to the restroom, I
would take the 
children

as she stayed in class to teach the others. I helped the kids get
their lunches and picked 
up

after the. I also helped them with the work that they were handed out
and mentored them to 
make

the right choices. My biggest challenge was probably leaving. I
became so attached the 
students

that it would hurt me when I had to return to my regular life. I
shared many memories 
and

enjoyed their presence. The last day of the program would be bitter
because I would not be 
able

to see the kids until the next summer. However, volunteering there
also gave me this 
satisfaction

of relief. I was able to give back to my community and was able to
give back to a 
program

that I once was part of. I was able to see kids grow and was able to
bond with many of 
them.

I can say that I made their summer fun for them. Spending two summers
volunteering in 
the

program showed me that children are like sponges and absorb any
information they obtain.

Also, that no matter where they come from, young children are able to have
a smile on their face 
and

be optimistic about life while many adults take this for granted.

Forward looking to me means looking to the potential future that I have
relating to my 
volunteering
career. How will I contract my path to success around my experience
with children 
and  how will it affect my perception of my community. I want to help my
community any way 
that

I can. I want to bring smiles to faces I have never met and have a
positive impact on my 
community.

Hopefully, this become a catalyst and kids encourages others to give
back to their 
community.

If I were to come back twenty or even thirty years later, I know my
volunteering 
time  has made an immense impact because I knew the program when it was
just initiating. I was 
one

of the few that returned to return the favor. Although many of the
people are of older age, 
they

might not be working there anymore; however, I will know that I saw
this program and I 
was  able to help it grow.


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